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When American Exceptionalism was good: The Eagle landed 46 years ago today

When American Exceptionalism was good: The Eagle landed 46 years ago today

Remember when being No. 1 in the world was a good thing?

On July 20, 1969, the Apollo 11 space capsule landed on the moon.

As I related last year:

I was at summer camp in New Hampshire.

They brought us into the rec hall where a couple hundred of us stared, bleary-eyed, at a single black and white monitor. They said we would remember this all our lives.

And I do. It’s as if it happened yesterday.

Six hours later, on July 21 (UTC/GMT), Neil Armstrong would be the first man to step foot on the moon:

Apollo 11 Moon Small Step for Man

Apollo 11 Moon Landing and Walk


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Henry Hawkins | July 20, 2015 at 2:42 pm

I was not quite 13 years old. Watched it all on a 13″ B&W TV, one hand on the rabbit ears. It was a major factor in growing my interest in science.

I was in grade school for one of the landings, can’t remember which. The teachers had us all come out into the gym while they fiddled with the biggest black and white TV they had in front of a bunch of bored kids. The pictures were fuzzy as heck, but I was hooked.

We’re STILL exceptional, Prof., and we will be as long as enough of us INSIST on being exceptional.

We are also good, and we have been good. All it takes for us to be good is to decide to be good every day.

The Obamic Decline has set us back, no doubt, but we can fight back and beyond. The Collective can be beaten down.

LI readers may be interested in this professionally annotated version of the first lunar landing:

Here is another annotated video of the first lunar landing, with this one identifying the geological features all the way down to landing:

I was in first grade when Sputnik was launched, and I graduated from high school just a few weeks before the moon landing. My whole public school education was punctuated by the space race. We watched NASA events on B&W TVs often.

I was 16, working in the golf shop at the Country Club of Virginia. Everything stopped that afternoon as we gathered around the portable black & white set in the back. As the time approached, Wally Schirra asked Walter Cronkite on the air, “Are you a Turtle?” provoking Cronkite’s grudging acknowledgement he’d been had and owed the astronaut a drink.

Then, at the landing, Cronkite was like a little kid, “Oh boy. Oh boy. Oh, boy!” It had never been done before, no one knew if the LEM might not just crash into the lunar surface.

– –

Of course, that was before we spent 40 years of the federal government dumbing down our educational system, and 25 years of badgering the ignorant and disinterested and uniformed to register and vote, all to keep the Democratic Party politically viable.

And we did it with 1960’s technology which goes to show if you have the will and a well defined mission, you can accomplish almost anything.

    DINORightMarie in reply to Sanddog. | July 20, 2015 at 5:34 pm

    Couldn’t happen today, more advanced technology or not……

    The engineers, the people who lived the job – contractors and NASA alike – made it to the moon on cigarettes and coffee.

    Yeah. 😉 /sarc (or is it?)

Doggone, I’m old. I was working at the phone company and the technicians had set up side by side televisions. One picked up the regular air feed, and the other picked up a superior feed that I think served federal agencies.

I was 1 year and 3 months old.
I don’t remember any of it.

    Henry Hawkins in reply to dmacleo. | July 20, 2015 at 9:44 pm

    It was really cool. Guy walked on the moon. Twenty years later Michael Jackson popularized the moonwalk. This is an example of how scientific achievements can also have negative effects on culture and society.

A wonderful achievement.

But there were plenty of liberals and black radicals who derided the space program. I recall one song titled “Whitey On the Moon” which was nothing more than an extended rant of resentment and racism against the moon landing.

American is exceptional again: a nation of exception idiots. One half votes for the likes of Barack Obama, and the other half tolerates the likes of Barney Fife Boehner leading its interests.

I was watching TV in a bar at the time of the landing. The landing news was occasionally overshadowed by reporting on an incident that happened a couple of days before, that was when Senator Edward M. Kennedy drove a car off Dike Bridge on Chappaquiddick Island, and Mary Jo Kopechne, who was in the car with him died.