Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christmas Eve, 1968

Nearly fifty years ago, the crew of the Apollo 8 spacecraft did something remarkable by reading from the creation account in Genesis 1 during a live television broadcast on Christmas Eve, 1968. At the time it became the most watched program in television.

What is quickly forgotten is the fact that the crew wasn't supposed to be there at all. The flight was originally scheduled for April 1969 but was moved up once it was determined the Lunar Module would not be ready for the scheduled flight. NASA officials also made the risky decision to leapfrog the established flight schedule and have the crew fly to the moon. It was the first such mission attempted. For their achievements they were named Time Magazine's Person of the Year.
1968 was rough year in America. She had been rocked by the murders of both Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert F. Kennedy. Rioting was taking place on a regular basis in the streets of her cities. Yet the simple broadcast of the Apollo 8 crew of Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and William Anders was just the uniting event that the country needed.

No comments: