Waxing Nostalgic Over Classic TV

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Houston, The Eagle Has Landed!

There are few events in life that stay with you for the rest of your life. They become a part of you. You remember every detail. One such moment occurred when a human being stepped foot on the moon on July 20, 1969.

The magnitude of the event was such that the world became one, united in the belief that anything was possible in life. Television became more than an electronic device; it transformed itself into a magical instrument with the ability to stop time as billions of eyes focused on a single image.

Although Americans were justifiably proud that they had put the first man on the moon, when Neil Armstrong stepped out onto the moon's surface the world celebrated the fact that a man, a citizen of the world, had accomplished such a daring feat.

It was, undoubtably, one of the most dramatic moments in history, but there was unseen drama as well, as Armstrong struggled to land the lunar module on the moon before he ran out of gas. Anxiously searching for a smooth place to land, he finally found the perfect spot with only seconds to spare.

One of the enduring legacies of Apollo 11 is the saying that, "If they can land a man on the moon, certainly they can (fill in the blank.)" Few events since have generated such a significant level of hope, imagination, and courage.

In the nearly 40 years since the first moon landing, many books and movies have been made about the Apollo program. The video below is the trailer for Ron Howard's excellent 2007 documentary, In the Shadow of the Moon. Tom Hanks' excellent 12-hour 1998 miniseries, From the Earth to the Moon, is also available on DVD.

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