Where were you on July 20, 1969 – the Day Apollo 11 Landed on the Moon?
I included the Moon Landing question in a recent newsletter to my readers and asked them to share their experiences. I was so delighted by their personal and intimate recollections that I asked their permission to share their poignant short stories here. Thankfully, most obliged.
I hope you enjoy these wonderful recollections. If you were alive back in 1969, please add your story to the comments below and SHARE this post so that friends and family may both enjoy and add their stories.
#1 – Adolescent Adventures
I’ll start with my moon landing memory. I was 17 and had effectively run away from home for a week. I was staying in a guesthouse in Provincetown on Cape Cod, watching on an old black-and-white TV with the other guests (which is a whole other story). We all seemed to relish the rapture of that transcendent moment. Two weeks later I drove my 1968 GTO to Woodstock. It was quite a summer. – Charlie
I was working in a government R&D lab. We jury-rigged a receiver to an o-scope and watched the landing in living green. – George
#3 The Burbs
On July 20, 1969, I was two weeks shy of my 19th birthday and living in one of those little burbs (Cheektowaga) outside of Buffalo, NY. I was working for a small ad printing company that worked out of a basement under his home. At the time of Neil Armstrong’s walk, we were all upstairs standing around the boss’s TV set watching the moon landing (and, yes, we had to clock out if we wanted to watch). I remember the boss, a German immigrant, saying something along the lines of “I can’t believe he actually did that!” We were all mesmerized. – Becki
#4 – I Was 5
I was 5, and Dad said watch the TV because this is something never seen before. I’m surprised I remember it. – Julie
#5 Dusty Stuff
July 1969 I was working at Butlins Bognor Regis (a holiday camp on the south coast of England). I’d made friends with some Americans who were staying there. We sat up all night with beer and snacks watching the landing as you can imagine it turned into quite a party! The amazing thing is I still remember it vividly all these years later. I’ve found over the years that if you ask anyone what Armstrong first said they reply “One small step for man one giant leap for mankind,”
What he actually said was “Its some kind dusty stuff I can stir it around with my foot”. I prefer this one. It’s more honest, but I suppose he had to go with the official blurb. – Barrie
#6 Staying Up Late
Yes, I was around for the lunar landing. I had turned 5 at the beginning of July. I remember mom and dad more or less making my brother and I watch. They felt this was an important point in history, which of course it was. We all watched in Dad’s den in the basement. We didn’t have AC so it was much cooler in the basement. I was allowed to stay up late so it was really a big deal! – Cathy
#7 – 5-Inch Screen
1969 seems so long ago, although when it comes right down to it, it’s not so long. Below is a photo of our daughter Brenda Gelean watching the moon landing on a 5″ TV screen with us in our bed on that spectacular night in 1969. On the other hand, maybe 1969 is farther back than I think, since even Brenda’s kids are all in their teens now. Three of our grandchildren. All four of our grandchildren arrived after the year 2000.
Watching the landing in the middle of the night in North Vancouver, BC on a 5″ screen, tiny TV set with our youngest baby about 6 mo. old. Seems like she enjoyed it. – Betty
#8 Rabbit Ears
On 7-20-1969, I was 19-years-old and watched the “moon landing” with my kid brother and new husband of two months. Since we were poor college students, we were lucky to have owned a 10″ black-and-white tabletop TV with foil on the “rabbit ears” antenna for better reception. I can still see us huddled together with our noses only a couple of feet from the screen of the TV in our very small apartment “dining room.” It is really strange how “50 years” sounds so long ago, but it doesn’t really feel all that long ago. – Leigh
Please leave your Moon Landing memories in the Comments below, share and check back for more.
Happy Moon Day… Charlie
Update: Since I posted this yesterday, 20+ people have shared their delightful mini Moon Landing stories in the comments below. I’d encourage you to read, enjoy them and leave your own.
Meanwhile, I read a thought-provoking article that asks a challenging question: Was Apollo 11 the peak of American greatness? Have a look and let us know what you think in the Comments below.
The Sublime Grandeur of Apollo 11