Fifty years ago this week, billions across the globe huddled around tube television sets to watch Neil Armstrong become the first person to step foot on the surface of the moon. Or at least that’s what the majority of people tend to believe (we won’t get into that debate today).
Regardless, the moments surrounding the moon landing of July 20, 1969 is forever ingrained in our national and worldly consciousness.
On July 11-12, our staff ventured into downtown Kyle to see what people think about the moon landings – whether they personally viewed it back then, or have seen footage of it thereafter.
Simone Schrott was 26 and watching the moon landing on tv
“It was surreal, and it was hard to believe that it really happened. I was amazed. I am a member of a military family with a military dad and we thought it was really special. We watched them walk on it and heard their voices come back from the moon. It was really hard to believe. The technology was surprising, but mostly it was surprising that you could travel that far and come back, and nothing happened to you. It was a dangerous undertaking, but they made it back eventually… I would like to see that travel continue, but it is very political, and I think it depends on whether a president wants to spend the money to go or not. I think that traveling to the moon again is a good idea. I think about the possibility that something could happen to the United States. We would have something different, new and adventurous. It’s almost like when people travelled from Europe to discover this.”
Susan Hall was 17 at the time of the moon landing.
“I was 17 years old and we all met at a friend’s house to watch it. I don’t think at 17 I really understood how important it was. But my dad took pictures that we still have of us around the TV. Especially with how technology is today compared to what we had back then, it was so infantile, but we did it and it was something I’ll remember for the rest of my life.”
Spencer Thomas was a teenager when the moon landing happened.
“I was 13 in 1969, in junior high. I remember they brought in TVs and we watched it on TV at school. It was real slow and it seemed like it was boring TV because it moved slow. But it was a big deal when the famous statement from Neil Armstrong came. I thought it was a big deal. Funny after all those years later, now people think it’s all fake.”
Natha Caldwell was 23 and lived in Houston at the time.
“I watched it on television at the time and it was a really big deal. I think it brought a lot of technology and new inventions that we use now that we would not have if we didn’t have engineers and astrophysicists working on what was needed to keep the astronauts safe and propel the spaceship. We would have missed out on a lot of technology. I think that it was a huge impact that way. I remember my grandmother watching it with me, and it mattered a lot to her. When she was a child, she rode in a horse and buggy, then she was able to watch people land on the moon on television.”
Donna Oliver was 28 when the moon landing happened.
“I was in Houston, Texas with my husband and one child. Friends came over with a daughter about the same age. When the moon landing was about to be aired, we woke the kids up because we wanted them to witness history. I think we all had a feeling of pride. They said they would do it and they did it. We were proud to be Americans and to have beaten the Russians!”