50 Things That Have Happened Since 'General Hospital' Debuted

VIDEO:As 'General Hospital' Turns 50, Katie Couric Goes Behind the Scenes
ABCNEWS.com

"General Hospital." Two commonplace words forming a phrase that by now seems equally commonplace, as if it's been part of our lives forever.

It hasn't been forever, but it has been 50 years. For a sense of how long that is, here is a list of events that have occurred during the iconic soap's remarkable run.

Watch "General Hospital - The Real Soap Dish," a Special Edition of "20/20" hosted by Katie Couric, Saturday at 9 ET.

1.
April 1, 1963: "General Hospital" premieres.
2.
Nov. 22, 1963: President John F. Kennedy is assassinated.
3.
1964: The Beatles have six No. 1 Billboard hits during the year.
4.
March 8, 1965: The first U.S. troops arrive in Vietnam.
5.
June 27 1967: The first ATM is installed in Barclays Bank in London.
6.
April 4, 1968: Martin Luther King Jr. is assassinated.
7.
July 21, 1969: American astronaut Neil Armstrong becomes the first man to set foot on the moon.
8.
Sept. 26, 1969: The premiere of "The Brady Bunch."
9.
Jan 22-23, 1970: The Boeing 747 jumbo jet makes its first commercial flight, from New York to London, chartered by Pan Am.
10.
Aug. 8, 1974: President Richard Nixon resigns on national television following his involvement in the Watergate scandal.
11.
April 30, 1975: The Vietnam War comes to an end.
12.
Oct. 11, 1975: The premiere of "Saturday Night Live."
13.
April 1, 1976: Apple Computer is founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.
14.
May 25, 1977: "Star Wars" is released.
15.
Aug. 16, 1977: Elvis Presley dies at his home, Graceland.
16.
May 4, 1979: Margaret Thatcher becomes Britain's first female Prime Minister.
17.
April 24, 1980: San Francisco man diagnosed with the first recorded case of AIDS in the U.S.
18.
Dec. 8, 1980: John Lennon is shot and killed outside his apartment building in New York City.
19.
July 29, 1981: Prince Charles marries Lady Diana Spencer at St. Paul's Cathedral in London.
20.
Spring 1983: Barack Obama graduates from Columbia University in New York City, where he majored in political science with a specialty in international relations.
21.
Feb. 1984: Madonna releases the song "Borderline," and it becomes her first Top 10 pop single.
22.
January 28, 1986: The U.S. space shuttle Challenger explodes, killing all seven crew members.
23.
September 8, 1986: The Oprah Winfrey Show debuts.
24.
Nov. 9, 1989: The Berlin Wall comes down after separating East and West Berlin for 28 years.
25.
Feb. 11, 1990: Nelson Mandela is released from Victor Verster Prison after more than 27 years in captivity.
26.
Aug. 2, 1990: Iraqi troops invade Kuwait, marking the beginning of the Persian Gulf War.
27.
December 1990: British engineer and computer scientist Sir Timothy Berners-Lee, along with Belgian computer scientist Robert Cailliau, introduce the World Wide Web.
28.
October 6, 1991: Elizabeth Taylor marries Larry Fortensky at Neverland Ranch, her eighth and final marriage.
29.
March 1, 1994: Justin Bieber is born.
30.
May 10, 1994: Nelson Mandela becomes South Africa's first black president.
31.
Oct. 3, 1995: O.J. Simpson is found not guilty of killing Nicole Brown and Ronald Goldman.
32.
Aug. 31, 1997: Princess Diana and Dodi Al-Fayed are killed in a car crash in the Pont de l'Alma road tunnel in Paris.
33.
Aug. 2, 1998: San Luis Obispo, Calif., becomes the first city in the world to ban indoor smoking in all public buildings, including bars and restaurants.
34.
April 20, 1999: The Columbine High School massacre occurs in Littleton, Colo.
35.
January 15, 2001: Wikipedia launches.
36.
Sept. 11, 2001
37.
Oct. 7, 2001: The U.S. invades Afghanistan in response to the Sept. 11 attacks. The invasion marks the beginning of the war in Afghanistan.
38.
Nov. 10, 2001: Apple releases the iPod.
39.
March 19, 2003: U.S. and allied forces invade Iraq, beginning the Iraq War.
40.
Feb. 4, 2004: Facebook is founded by Mark Zuckerberg.
41.
Dec. 26, 2004: An Indian Ocean tsunami sends waves of up to 98 feet crashing into coastal communities and killing approximately 230,000 people in 14 countries.
42.
February 2005: YouTube is founded by three former PayPal employees.
43.
June 1, 2005: "Dancing With the Stars" kicks off.
44.
March 2006: Twitter is founded by Jack Dorsey.
45.
Jan. 21, 2008: Stock markets around the world crash amid a financial crisis brought on in part by the end of the housing market bubble.
46.
Jan. 20, 2009: Sen. Barack Obama is inaugurated as the 44th president of the United States, and the first African-American to be elected to the office.
47.
June 25, 2009: Michael Jackson dies.
48.
Aug. 31, 2009: President Obama announces the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom, bringing the war to a close.
49.
April 29, 2011: The wedding of Prince William of Wales and Catherine Middleton takes place at Westminster Abbey in London.
50.
April 1, 2013: "General Hospital" celebrates 50 years; it is the longest-running American soap opera currently in production.
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