With all the tributes to Walter Cronkite, we got to hear parts of the original broadcast. I burst out laughing when Cronkite said (something like) "Armstrong said that's one small step for man and I didn't catch the second part, did you?" to his fellow newsman. Someone must have given Cronkite the prepared text, because he got it right (in yesterday's rebroadcast) a few seconds later. Tom Wolfe had a good essay on NASA in today's NYTimes.com
I was a geeky little kid watching in complete and utter awe. I even recorded the sound on my little cassette recorder...and I still have the darn thing!I know the "space race" was done for many reasons (and a tip of the hat to the Tom Wolfe piece) but it DID galvanize us in some ways and gave us something larger than petty politics to believe in....Now, I want to go to Mars!
I was half expecting the end of the world. I was a grade-schooler who knew the story of the Tower of Babel and I reasoned that if God got pissed over a measly tower, he would surely send a stronger message if humans started cavorting on the moon. I kind of expected some giant thumb to come down and squash the astronauts and the lunar lander like a bug. So I sat there with my family and held my breath...and nothing. Well, one more chip in my belief in religion which was pretty much entirely gone by junior high.
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