Remembering the moon landing
There are many events that are forever captured in our memories. Almost 50 years ago, three United States astronauts were poised on the brink of history. They were making the historical first landing on the moon on board the spacecraft, “Apollo.” Well, actually, two of the men landed on the moon. Commander Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin were in the landing craft, “Eagle,” while the third astronaut, Michael Collins, stayed in orbit.
The landing was the result of many years of planning, which began with a speech made by President John F. Kennedy on May 25, 1961, before Congress.
“I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth,” Kennedy said.
Even though Apollo 11 made world history, there are many people today who criticize the expedition.
Although many of today’s technological discoveries have come from this space expedition, some people believe Apollo 11 was a waste of money. Even today one hears that it cost too much to accomplish and that the money could have been spent more wisely. There are still those who argue that the landing never took place. They say it was really a hoax– a government cover-up to make us look good to other countries by leading the way in the Space Race.
Newspapers of the time addressed citizens’ questions. The Montgomery Advertiser said “to be living in such a time is itself almost unbelievable for those of us firmly rooted to this planet.”
The Advertiser also reported that Commander Armstrong said that the price paid for the trip was well worth it.
“The view of the moon and the stars were spectacular,” Armstrong said.
The Anniston Star gave one of the most hilarious reports about the small town of Eggbornsville, Va.
According to the newspaper, one citizen said that they shouldn’t fool with things that did not concern them, and another lady said she bought extra firewood, just in case something happened. One of those interviewed criticized the moon landing.
“They couldn’t possibly land up there,” the man said. “It’s bound to be too hot, the way the moon gives off all that light.”
People in Brewton felt similarly. Clementine Stallworth said her father was also in disbelief.
“I remember that time, and my daddy didn’t believe that they actually went to the moon,” she said. “He thought it was impossible.”
Gilda Padgett was in high school in 1969.
“I was 15 years old and in the 10th grade,” she said. “Our science teacher saved the film of the landing and showed it to us. Everybody was so excited and were talking about the ‘moon walk.’ My dad was in the military at the time and that was the biggest thing going on at the time. I remember what Neil Armstrong said as he stepped down on the moon, ‘that’s one small step for man and one giant leap for mankind.’”
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