Below is a brief description of the topics Panorama has covered in each decade including a memorable clip from a Panorama film of that era.
BBC Television management's desire to have a regular, informative "window on the world" first brought Panorama to our screens in November 1953.
Generally considered a shambles, the first programme was immediately pulled off air for an overhaul.
The revamped programme soon began to hit its stride though and became a permanent fixture in the BBC's schedules, with programmes on a wide range of events and issues, including the hydrogen bomb, the Suez crisis, the Hungarian uprising and those 1950s perennials - race and immigration.
In 1954, as hydrogen bomb tests continued in the Pacific Ocean, Panorama devoted a whole programme to the issue
In the early 1960s Panorama documented at length the complex passage of African decolonisation and also the alarming escalation of the Cold War. The Cold War was, in many ways, characterised by the building of the Berlin Wall in 1961 - an iconic symbol that was visited several times by the team.
In the UK, the decade saw the old establishment's grip on power begin to loosen.
New freedoms were ushered in and Panorama's films on the changing face of the UK illustrated this, but in this decade it was to the wider world that Panorama turned time after time, with reports on unrest in the Middle East, Vietnam, the civil rights movement and the space race.
As civilian casualties grew in the wake of increased US military involvement in Vietnam during 1966, Julian Pettifer explored the war's progress
Protected by its relatively large budget, the 1970s saw Panorama flourishing in this decade of strife.
Conflict in Northern Ireland, the fall-out from the oil crisis and continuing industrial conflict between the government and unions were recurring domestic themes.
Panorama also continued to look overseas with reports on the drawn-out ending of the Vietnam War, Britain's involvement in the European Economic Community, Cold War espionage and the growth of international terrorist groups like the Red Army Faction.
Panorama's Michael Charlton reports on how the presence of the British Army on the streets of Belfast in 1972 had become a part of everyday life
The seismic events of the late 1980s continued to have repercussions into the 1990s; the reunification of Germany, the break-up of the Soviet Union and the Balkan wars were all topics Panorama covered at length.
The release of Nelson Mandela, the ending of South African apartheid and the horrors of the Rwandan genocide marked the highs and lows in Africa.
The decade also saw the arrival of the internet in millions of homes and workplaces.
At home, anti-European Union wrangles and recession helped remove the Conservative Party from government after 18 years, as Tony Blair and New Labour swept to power in a landslide victory.
The IRA ceasefire leading to the signing of the Good Friday Agreement brought embryonic peace to Northern Ireland and marked an end to 30-plus years of reporting on the Troubles by Panorama.
Jane Corbin's 1996 film War Crime revealed the personal testimonies of some of the survivors of the massacre of 8,000 Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica during the Bosnian War
Panorama's sixth decade on air saw the world a very different place.
The rapid economic growth of China and India and the increased demand on natural resources skewed the old world order.
Debt relief for Africa and the unassailable growth of the internet were supposed-good news stories that Panorama was able to investigate with customary vigour.
The attacks of 9/11 on New York and Washington further changed the course of the decade.
The subsequent US-led war on terror saw lengthy conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq and burned phrases like Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib onto the international conscience, as the shadow of Islamist militancy continues its spread across the globe.
Hilary Andersson journeys into Sudan in 2004 and meets women victims of alleged atrocities by the Janjaweed militia in the Darfur region
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