Easter stories from the 60 Minutes Archive
The archives of 60 Minutes are home to almost any subject one can imagine. If you can think of a topic relevant to the past 50 years, chances are that 60 Minutes has covered it. So, when we searched for stories suitable for Easter Sunday viewing, we turned up hours and hours of videotape going back to 1968, the show's first year.
For those celebrating the day and for those who are not, here's an offering of three Easter-worthy stories that span the decades by Harry Reasoner, Andy Rooney, and Morley Safer.
Our first selection is an essay, which aired in 1968, called "What did Christ Look Like?" Correspondent Harry Reasoner muses on the face of Jesus Christ in a format and tone that's very unlike the 60 Minutes of today:
"The Book of Isaiah says of Jesus: 'He was devoid of Beauty and a Sufferer.' Many of the earliest artists formed their concept of Him from this comment. A historian named Tertullian, who lived in the year 200, said of Him: 'There was nothing outstanding about Christ's flesh. And it was just this contrast with His personality which struck everyone. Far from emanating divine radiance, His body had not even simple human beauty. The passion and the humility He suffered left their mark and it was deprived of all charm by His suffering."
Andy Rooney was the writer behind the "What Did Christ Look Like?" essay, and Christianity is a topic he later returned to on Easter Sunday in 1991. For our second selection, here's Rooney, on camera this time, delivering a two-minute essay on the strangest and most beautiful churches of America:
"There are wooden churches, stone churches, brick churches. There are churches that are tall, churches that are short, round churches, square churches, churches in every imaginable shape. God must be impressed by the ingenuity of the architects. The greatest contribution religion has made to what this country looks like is the simple white New England church with its graceful steeple. These lovely buildings are pure American."
Twenty years later, in 2011, the 60 Minutes broadcast headed to the grandest church of them all -- at the Vatican -- to see the Pope's private library, a vast trove of historic treasures, founded over five centuries ago. In this classic piece, Morley Safer shows viewers an awe-inspiring place that very few people have seen firsthand.
Safer wasn't Christian himself, but he was the right man for this assignment. Here's his thoughts as his tour of the Vatican library came to an end:
"It seemed as if the library's collection had come to life in the streets of the eternal city -- the centurions and crusaders, the centuries of faith and folly, time present and time past. Leaving the library, we thought there's something -- something almost magical -- to be immersed in this place, to breathe the air and touch the hand of history."