35th Anniversary of “Roots.”

Thirty five years ago we were all sitting in front of our televisions watching the first episode of an eight episode miniseries called “Roots” based on the book by Alex Haley. The miniseries ran from January 23-30, 1977.

“Roots” held the attention of a continent for eight straight nights. I can’t think of a television show that would do that now. There were about 55 actors starring in the production. The time period was from about 1750 through to 1870.

This was a television show that changed a lot of lives. Many people began researching their family history because of watching “Roots.” It made people curious about those who came before them.

How did “Roots” change your life? Did you start researching your family history because of “Roots?” Do you remember sitting in front of the television to watch this epic story?

©2012 – Blair Archival Research All Rights Reserved


  • Indeed, Ruth, well remembered (and, yes, I am JUST old enough to clearly recall the experience, too!). Brilliant. I have a short article on the subject at http://www.localandfamilyhc.com/history-of-genealogy.html

    • Ruth Blair

      Hi Mick, Saw the link to my post (thanks) and the story you had written about Roots on your blog today. I remember watching Roots very well and couldn’t wait for the next episode to see what was going to happen next. The sad thing is that today you wouldn’t get so many people sitting together and watching a program like this. Now it would be recorded to watch at a later date or streamed online and the experience would probably be a singular one.

  • Has it really been 35 years! I remember watching it avidly here in the UK – it must have been shown in the UK a few months after its American airing. An amazing introduction for me to American history and genealogy

  • Thanks Ruth – I was trying to work out exactly when it was. Brings back memories of my (very informative) teenage years!

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