20 July 1969 – Man on the Moon

Speaking of videos… today is the anniversary of Neil Armstrong walking on the Moon, 20 July 1969.

That experienced is indelibly burned into my memory.

Here’s video mentioning the event to celebrate the 1969 Moon walk anniversary and to celebrate being a citizen is the greatest nation on Earth.

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Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. CPT TOM says:

    I remember watching this with my brothers and sisters when I was 5 in the basement of our house, on our big old 27″ black and white TV. We were speechless and in awe. God has given us so many ways to explore his creation, without him none of this would be possible. Praise God!

  2. Boniface says:

    One thing not widely known – and useful for young people to know who think “all scientists/astronauts, etc must be atheists” (ludicrous, obviously) – is that Buzz Aldrin, talking with his Presbyterian pastor from home before the famous voyage, decided the most meaningful thing he could do on the moon for his own part in representing humanity there was to receive his Presbyterian version of communion on the moon. From his book:

    “So, during those first hours on the moon, before the planned eating and rest periods, I reached into my personal preference kit and pulled out the communion elements along with a three-by-five card on which I had written the words of Jesus: “I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me, and I in him, will bear much fruit; for you can do nothing without me.” I poured a thimbleful of wine from a sealed plastic container into a small chalice, and waited for the wine to settle down as it swirled in the one-sixth Earth gravity of the moon. My comments to the world were inclusive: “I would like to request a few moments of silence … and to invite each person listening in, wherever and whomever they may be, to pause for a moment and contemplate the events of the past few hours, and to give thanks in his or her own way.” I silently read the Bible passage as I partook of the wafer and the wine, and offered a private prayer for the task at hand and the opportunity I had been given.

    Neil watched respectfully, but made no comment to me at the time.”

    He later slid into an indifferantist attitude about it, but it’s cool to know about this.

  3. JonathanTX says:

    For fellow nerds and the generally curious, the original Apollo 11 Guidance Computer source code is available to browse. You can sense the engineer’s humor in their code comments, and the fact that the ignition routine was named “Burn_baby_burn”.


  4. pseudomodo says:

    Another coolish thing happened:
    A small bag used to collect moon dust from Apollo 11 auctioned off. Amazing story.


  5. WmHesch says:

    Buzz Aldrin also carried with him a Masonic document that claimed the moon for his Grand Lodge of Texas

  6. PTK_70 says:

    Having watched that music video, “Gig ’em Aggies” came to mind. Except in Texas they don’t seem to have hang-ups over mariachi bands. That’s just a benign feature of the landscape which makes life a bit more interesting.

    (Maybe there ought to be a verse about Chinese buffets and Toyota pick-ups….lol)

  7. DetJohn says:

    Everyone was watching…. It was the most crime free period of the 20th Century….

  8. Gregg the Obscure says:

    That was quite a day. My great Aunt’s house was packed with various relatives. Her color TV was a major reason that she hosted the event. I think it was a potluck dinner as she was well into her 80s by then. Before the telecast, Aunt Sophie led a singalong. I remember hoping that I could get to the moon some day.

  9. Kathleen10 says:

    Remember those NASA guys? All white shirts and ties, which should be obligatory. When I see them now and they are wearing polo shirts it’s not the same at all. They looked so official and so…smart! We have those black and white images and sounds etched in our brains.
    I’m proud to be an American. I think everybody ought to be able to be proud of their homeland, and I sure am. People think we don’t have a particular culture in America, but we do. There are a zillion references that one could make in a far flung part of the world that only another American would understand.

  10. skip67 says:

    Was in army basic training at ,Ft Bragg, a TV set up in the mess hall. A year later I was in Viet Nam. It has always struck me how much technology has to offer us, but the killing goes on…

  11. iamlucky13 says:

    @ skip67 – you made me curious about other, similar stories. I found a few:

    Apparently even Naval Base San Diego was left unguarded during the moon landings, in the middle of a war, so that the troops on guard duty could watch.

    Here’s one of the other stories in that link:

    “With all the training for war and knowing that we all stood a better than even chance of going right to Vietnam after Boot Camp, the peace and tranquillity of stopping for that brief moment to watch the crowning achievement of President Kennedy’s legacy being brought to life even brought some of us rough, tough marine boots to tears. I am almost positive I saw SSgt. Robinson with a tear in his eye… but none of us were brave enough, or stupid enough to point it out.”

  12. gracie says:

    I remember watching it with my family when I was 19. It was such a wonderful moment to watch the first man step onto the moon. My Aunt Laura used to say that there was nothing new under the sun but the thought occurred to me that this was surely the exception that proved the rule. We had such optimism in those days regarding space travel. Everyone was sure we’d be flying back and forth to the moon and beyond in a few short decades. I remember at the TWA Pavilion at the New York World’s Fair of 1964 we put our names on a list they had, to be passengers to the moon once they started scheduled flights.

  13. Legisperitus says:

    I was only a year and a half old at the time of the moon landing and grew up surrounded by pessimism; the first big historical event I remember is Nixon’s resignation, followed shortly by Carter malaise. I’ve often wondered what it would be like to have been a few years older and be able to remember some of that Sixties optimism. It must have been really different.

  14. OldProfK says:

    I remember watching it in the living room of our little old Insulbrick house. It was not long before my eighth birthday, and a couple of weeks after what we locally called the “Fourth of July storm:” massive thunderstorms spun off to Northeast Ohio and elsewhere by Hurricane Camille. Quite a summer.

    That’s one reason I’m really grateful to G_d for the rise of private (such as it is, Bezos and Musk are nonpareil rent seekers) space exploration. Rockets = adventure again.

  15. The Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter has generated some really cool images of some of the Apollo landing sites where even the astronauts’ footpaths and moon buggy tracks are still visible:


  16. jaykay says:

    I was 8, going on 9, at the time but although I did see the actual landing which was at around 8 p.m. in our time zone, as far as I recall, the moonwalk itself was about 3:00 a.m. and there was NO WAY I was going to be allowed to see it. I had a newspaper round to start early in the morning anyway, but even had I not had that bedtime was a strict 9:30 p.m. no matter what was happening in the world. Still, I was among the first in our neighbourhood to see all the papers in the morning, all broadsheets, with their huge front-page spreads of the moonwalk. All b&w of course – as was our T.V. at the time and for many years after!

  17. Mike says:

    Gene Kranz, flight director, Catholic, father of six, would go to Mass and wear the white silk vest his wife knitted for each flight on launch day till splash down. One, I think from Apollo 17, is in the Smithsonian. Godspeed indeed!

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