In Britain they played the anthem at close down. It also went off air for a few hours in the afternoon.
I remember with the old sets with the big dials you could fiddle around with them and listen to the emergency services channels.
A lot of folk also rented sets that worked with the coin slot meter, the guys who came to empty them had to separate the actual coins from washers, buttons and any foreign coins.
The aerials were a mixture of actual ones, like the rabbit ears, to modified coat hangers, ours was this strange, about 6ft high, narrow aluminium thing and if the picture was no good you had to walk around with it to a better position.