As The World Turns began its rise to popularity in 1956, created by Irna Phillips who was one of the most creative writers of radio soap operas. She preferred character development over melodrama, and ran story lines in real-life time, keeping the focus on the personal and professional lives of its characters. Breaking the mold of the 15 minute serial, As The World Turns was the first serial to run a full 30 minutes in length. It soon enjoyed the highest Neilsen ratings for an astounding 12 years, and became the world-s most popular soap opera for the next 20 years.
Many notable occurrences happened during the show-s early history. Possibly the most noteworthy being Walter Cronkite-s shocking announcement of President Kennedy-s untimely death on November 22nd, 1963 at 1:40pm, just 10 minutes into the episode. At that time, As The World Turns was still performed live, and the cast was yet unaware of the devastating situation.
As The World Turns had perhaps the longest-running show announcer, Dan McCullough, whose familiar voice opened the show from 1956-1982. In 1967, the show switched to color, and just a few short years later began it-s next 35 years as a full one hour serial.