clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Thirty Years Ago Today

Thirty years ago today, NASA, using less power than our old 386's had,
managed to shoot a rocket with three men to the moon, land them there, with
television cameras, and returned them home safely.  For those of us who
were fortunate enough to watch this, it was not just unforgettable, not just
breathtaking, it changed our lives and our relationship to this planet and to
the other celestial bodies which are scattered in the billions of miles of space
around us.

Watching Neil Armstrong step out and go down the ladder - today it is an old
image, scratchy, the video isn't very good.  But all across the world, men,
women and children went outside and turned their faces up and stared. When the
history of America is written with more perspective, they may point to that
weekend as the high point of American civilization: a challenge laid down by
President Kennedy, challenge after challenge met by NASA, and a few years later,
the impossible was achieved - and it was all done just to say we could do it.
That's America!

Anyway, we realize a lot of our readers came after this - heck, a lot of our
readers were born after CDs came along.  For those of us who witnessed it,
we know how lucky we were to be alive on that weekend. For those of you who
weren't, we hope that there is something in your lifetime that is that
outlandish, that magnificent, that absolutely compelling.

Speaking of the anniversary, there's a great story, probably a myth, but
still a great story. Neil Armstrong, after he landed and said his famous words,
supposedly said at some point "good luck Mr. Cavendish." (We forget
the name but it doesn't matter)

Supposedly, when he was a boy playing, he heard the neighbors fighting. 
"Oral sex?" Mrs. Cavendish said.  "You want oral sex? You'll
get oral sex when the kid next door walks on the moon!"

Probably not a true story, but a great one nonetheless.

So go outside sometime and look up at the moon and remember how great we were
that weekend. It was a magnificent thing to witness.