Credit: John Paschal/JPI, Howard Wise/JPI, CBS/Courtesy of the Everett Collection (3)

In episode No. 1, waitress Sally McGuire sighed, “Kind of a drag, isn’t it — stuck in a place like Genoa City.” Oh, anything but, Sally!

It all began with a tall, dark and handsome stranger arriving in the tiny town of Genoa City, Wisconsin. Through his eyes, we would meet the locals, including a newspaper publisher and his three daughters, a doctor and the women between whom he was torn, and a manicurist who yearned for a better life that seemed just beyond her well-tended talons.

THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, Tom Hallick, Janice Lynde, season 1, 1973 ec

Of the people we met when The Young and the Restless debuted on March 26, 1973, only that ambitious beautician continues to recur today, although like those of us who were watching then, she’s changed quite a bit. Gone are her days of buffing nails and imagining what it would be like to live in a mansion on the hill. In fact, now just about every member of Jill Foster’s family has a mansion to call their own.

Or at very least a penthouse.

More: Young & Restless’ Victor Newman through the years [PHOTOS]

Hard as it is to believe, there was no Victor Newman when the show debuted. In fact, we would not actually be introduced to the self-made millionaire until seven years into the show’s run. Even Katherine Chancellor, whose presence still looms large over Genoa City despite the fact that both she and portrayer Jeanne Cooper are no longer with us, would not be introduced until nearly eight months after the soap’s debut.

THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS, Jeanne Cooper, (ca. mid-1970s), 1973-. © CBS / Courtesy: Everett Collection

More: Young & Restless’ Nikki, from stripper to socialite [PHOTOS]

No, in the beginning — before we began calling daily upon the Abbott and Newman clans — Genoa City was populated by the upper-middle-class Brookses and the struggling-to-get-by Fosters. Their two worlds would be brought together when the ridiculously handsome Bill “Snapper” Foster fell for impossibly naive Chris Brooks.

The rest, as they say, is history. Fifty years of it, as a matter of fact.

On this momentous occasion, celebrate the show’s anniversary by taking a peek into our massive photo of rare images and bittersweet memories from Young & Restless’ earliest days… to its most recent.