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Monday, July 21, 2014

11 + 45

So many of the "Where were you when..." events are tragedies.  Today, we celebrate a good one.

Neil Armstrong walked on the moon 45 years ago today.  I remember exactly where I was-- on the foot of my parents' bed, watching Walter Cronkite on a GE black and white portable television.  It had a blue plastic case.  I can still see it.

Consider the feat-- from Orville and Wilbur in 1903 to walking on the moon in less than 70 years. Wow!

It was a great time, a fascinating time to be a kid, a news good, a TV geek and a science aficionado.   Every second of the Apollo 11 mission was dissected during endless television coverage.  I was a member of a Cronkite family.  You can see what all three networks did back then, courtesy of YouTube.  Looking back, it was striking to see how big a cheerleader Cronkite was.  Maybe it was too much.  The other networks were solid, albeit a bit dry.

Even as a kid, I knew this was about more than science.  There were fresh woulds from Vietnam, the Kennedy assassinations, civil rights, MLK, etc.  We needed a "win."  America needed something good. NASA and three astronauts provided it.  The country was united again for one week in the summer of 1969.