Forty-six years ago tonight, The Mary Tyler Moore Show debuted in the US. It was the first sitcom to feature a never-married woman who lived on her own and had a job she loved as the central character. Think about that for a moment. This television show taught women that their happiness need not be dependent on anything or anyone outside of themselves, and it aired for the first time on September 19th 1970. Yes, I’m aware that the show That Girl, which ran between 1966-1971 also featured an unmarried female main character but having seen a few episodes of it, there isn’t much “career” in it, and I wouldn’t exactly call Marlo Thomas’ character single since she has a steady boyfriend throughout the show’s run. In contrast, Mary Tyler Moore’s character, Mary Richards, dates sporadically throughout the run of the show, with two semi-serious relationships that I can recall, but remains single until the end, and the focus of the show is fairly evenly split between Mary’s social life (including her friendships with the other female characters on the show) and her work.