From 1932 to 1943, Laura Ingalls Wilder published the Little House... books, a series of children's novels based on her childhood in the rugged American Midwest during the late 19th century.
The books were highly successful, and remain in print today.
In the 1970s, NBC executive Ed Friendly began working on a television adaptation, and tapped Bonanza's Michael Landon to direct the two-hour pilot. Landon agreed to direct, under the condition that he could also play the lead role of Charles Ingalls.
Landon cast nine-year-old Melissa Gilbert to play the young Laura Ingalls, and her brother Jonathan to play the role of Willie Oleson. He hired four more pairs of siblings to play roles, including two sets of twins who shared parts.
Though set largely in rural Minnesota, the series was shot chiefly on the Big Sky Ranch in Simi Valley, California, with the soundstage at Warner Brothers Studios in Burbank.
Premiering in 1974, the series ran for 204 episodes, 87 of which were directed by Landon.
Reruns of the beloved series still air in syndication on several channels.
More from Mashable.com:
Marco Rubio's #NeverTrump press conference goes viral a little too late
Can you guess the celebrity based on 3.14% of their face?
The Lowline is the underground park New York needs — and here are the minds behind it