July 21, 1969 – the beginning of a “new era”

Nov 11, 2023 | 0 comments

Today, in one of my continuing “cleaning out and tidying up” binges, I ran across a copy of The Seattle Times — the “Night Final” edition for Monday, July 21, 1969, 50 pages, Price 10¢.  U.S. Astronauts Open New Era said the headline and the caption of a rather blurry AP. wirephoto read: ALDRIN DEPLOYED SOLAR-WIND EXPERIMENT AS ARMSTRONG, RIGHT, WATCHED.

Charlie and I were at our friends the Sorensens’ house with Marta’s dad — glued to a grainy black and white TV set, as I remember.  We thought Armstrong’s “…one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” statement was cool and wondered if he thought that up himself.  And I remember feeling truly daunted that we all might be traveling into space some day.  (I am not a courageous flyer!)

And down  in the lower right corner Sen. Kennedy Charged With Leaving Scene of Accident.  Ah, yes!  Martha’s Vineyard, Teddy Kennedy, and Mary Jo Kopechne’s death.  Everything wasn’t moon landings and roses back in July 1969.  But… in the shopping news, you could buy a Toilet Seat — “replacement seats for any bathroom for $1.99” and the Help Wanted ads said that men age 19 & over “Regardless of Draft Status” were being hired at $3.80 per hour — no experience necessary.  (The jobs being offered, however, were not explained.)

Well… all-in-all I’m underwhelmed.  With both the Times and the times.  Somehow, many of us made it through but I’m not at all sure that either the small step or the giant step has gotten us very far.  Perhaps my expectations have been too high.



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