In the 60s, Hanna-Barbera had the magic touch. After inventing new techniques that revolutionized animation on television, Hanna-Barbera started cranking out hits faster than the industry could keep up with. Even though the studio created a host of iconic characters in the first half of the decade with The Flintstones and Johnny Quest, Hanna-Barbera's biggest success came towards the tail end of the 1960s with Scooby Doo, Where Are You!
Aside from becoming the template for a slew of knock-offs from Hanna-Barbera- including Jabberjaw, Fangface, The Funky Phantom, and Inch High, Private Eye, to name a few- Scooby Doo arguably captured the zeitgeist better than any cartoon of the 60s. Having a crew of hippies anchoring a cartoon might not seem radical in retrospect, but during the era, the occupants of the fabled Mystery Machine must've seemed like extras from Walter Cronkite's b-roll.
On this day in 1969, the first episode of Scooby Doo, Where Are You! hit the airwaves and changed cartoons forever.