It seems like a lifetime ago, and in a way, it is. On February 28, 1983, at the end of its 11th season, one of America's most beloved TV shows aired its final episode on CBS. And it may have been the first time I ever shed a tear while watching a TV show.

WBEC FM logo
Get our free mobile app

Titled, "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen", the 2-and-a-half-hour episode was watched by approximately 106 million people which, at the time, was a record-breaking 77% of the television-viewing audience. By the way, the show was M*A*S*H.

M*A*S*H began as a 1968 novel by Richard Hooker which was then brought to the big screen in 1970 in a film directed by Robert Altman. M*A*S*H, the movie, was a hit with audiences and critics. What next?

A television show, of course. The TV show debuted in September 1972 on the CBS network. The initials of the show's title stood for Mash Army Surgical Hospital. The show centered on the doctors and nurses who treated the sick and wounded during the Korean War.

Even though the show centered on the Korean War, it was widely seen as a critique of the Vietnam War, at least in the show's early years. As M*A*S*H progressed over time, the show became more character-driven, keeping the viewer's interest and allowing the show to move forward from comedy to "dramedy."

M*A*S*H won several Emmy awards in numerous categories during its 11-year span including multiple acting awards for Alan Alda and Loretta Swit, plus acting wins for Gary Burghoff and Harry Morgan.

Several Emmy wins for Best Writing and Best Directing were also bestowed upon the show and too many nominations to mention. Spending that much time with a television show, watching the characters grow, develop, and blossom into what seemed to the viewer to be very "real" people helps explain the show's longevity.

We the viewers wanted to 'know" these people better. We wanted them to be our friends. Of course, great acting and great writing also account for M*A*S*H 's undying appeal.

I think that by "allowing" these people into our homes every week for over a decade, made them seem like family to us. And I think that's why so many "family" members tuned in on February 28, 1983. To say, "Goodbye, Farewell and Amen"...

Big Special Thanks to the Cast and Crew of M*A*SH for so many laughs, so many tears, and so many fond memories...

From coast to coast: The 20 best regional fast-food chains to try

From burgers to subs and even creamy milkshakes, these tasty fast-food chains, compiled by Stacker, are a must-try on your next road trip.

Gallery Credit: Kiersten Hickman

LOOK: 15 Discontinued McDonald's Menu Items

LOOK: Here are copycat recipes from 20 of the most popular fast food restaurants in America

CHECK IT OUT: See the 100 most popular brands in America

More From WBEC FM