Monday, July 20, 2009

The Moon and a Legend

It is my first memory of a major event. Forty years ago today, my brother and a not-quite six-year old me were in my grandmother's apartment in New York watching a small TV and seeing Neil Armstrong stepping out on the moon. At the time I couldn't appreciate the fulfillment of JFK's 1960 challenge and the technological achievements that made it happen.

Years later I read Jules Verne's "From the Earth to the Moon" from the prospective of a dream already happened. I once read in a Sci-Fi magazine that hundreds of stories were written about a future moon landing, but none of them had it televised live.

I vaguely remember that day so long ago but in 1989 I watched the the CBS rebroadcast of those day's events with Walter Cronkite. I had watched Cronkite report from the Ford and Carter years through that strange day that combined the inauguration of Ronald Reagan and the release of the Iran hostages. In the fall of 1980 I was asked in an interview by an MIT alum whom I wanted as president, not limited to the current candidates, and I proposed Cronkite, generally regarded then as the most trusted man in America. Choosing Cronkite possibly cost me admission to MIT but I still believe him a better choice than Carter, Reagan or John Anderson. My daughters would later know Cronkite as Benjamin Franklin in the show Liberty Kids that Cronkite helped develop to educate youngster about early American history.

We lost Walter Cronkite on Friday, that great newsmen that I first remember seeing that moon landing day. And that's the way it was, July 20, 1969.


  1. OffTopic:

    Something tells me that this cartoon is wrong and that sqrt(-1) should be saying "get imaginary"

    Can someone correct me?