Moon landing walk highlighted the turbulent year 1969
Watching U.S. astronauts land on the moon, on live television, and then walk on the moon, with my family back in July of 1969 made a powerful impact on the 10-year-old boy that was me.
My parents were in their mid-30s. My oldest brother was 18; my sister was 17; and my little brother was 5. I don’t remember if we watched all of the TV news reports of the moon landing and moon walk together.
But for sure it was my parents and me and my little brother watching all the news together with my teenage siblings joining in when they were home. My parents still live in the same house that we lived in back then.
It was a clear night outside during some of the news reports and I remember going outdoors after watching the TV news coverage with the black and white fuzzy film - and looking up at the stars to see the moon, knowing that there were some Americans up there.
It’s not an understatement to say that the entire world was amazed at what was happening. The moon landing and moon walk were shown on all three of the national TV stations that existed then - CBS, NBC and ABC. Everyone in the country, if they had their TVs on, were watching the same amazing things. No doubt, people all over the world - if they had TVs or radios on - were made aware of the big news, too.
Richard Nixon was our president and he had been sworn into office in January 1969, replacing President Lyndon Johnson, who did not seek re-election.
Amid all of the violence shown on the TV news every evening that summer regarding the divisive war in Vietnam and the protest against the war going on, the moon landing and moon walk brought glimmers of hope for all.
Our country had sent the lunar module Eagle to the surface of the moon and now our Apollo 11 astronauts – Neil Armstrong and “Buzz’’ Aldrin were walking on the moon at a desolate place they called Tranquility Base while their fellow astronaut Michael Collins flew the command module Columbia alone in a lunar orbit. They later re-connected and made it back to Earth.
This week, a lot of Americans will be flooded with memories of this historic time as we get set to observe the 50th anniversary of the moon landing this Saturday, July 20.
A community event is planned at the Banner Creek Science Center here that will be a lot of fun to attend. See the advertisement about the event and the other information about Apollo 11in this issue!
A top pop song in the U.S. from the week of July 20, 1969, interestingly enough, was “In The Year 2525’’ by Zager and Evans, a song about their vision for the future.