Today In History – February 28

“Goodbye, Farewell and Amen”

That was the title of the final episode of MASH, a two-and-a-half-hour special that CBS aired on February 28, 1983. The episode chronicles the final days of the Korean War at the 4077th MASH. After the ceasefire goes into effect, the members of MASH throw a party before taking down the campsite for the final time. There are tear-filled goodbyes before the main characters go their separate ways, leading to the end of the series.

In the final scene, BJ gives Hawkeye a ride to his chopper on the motorcycle. Before the helicopter takes off, BJ shouts that he left a note this time and then rides off. As a helicopter lifts off, Hawkeye and the audience see the word goodbye spelled out with rocks on the helipad. Hawkeye smiles, and the helicopter carries him away.

The final episode of MASH was so highly anticipated that CBS sold thirty-second commercial blocks for $450,000, equal to $1.2 million today. MASH’s commercials for that episode were more expensive than the Super Bowl commercials of that year.

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