sowny.net | The Southern Ontario/WNY Radio-TV Forum


You are not logged in. Would you like to login or register?

July 20, 2022 11:03 am  #1


You Were Watching This Exactly 53 Years Ago Tonight

It won’t be much of a giant leap for mankind to guess what you were watching exactly 53 years ago tonight. July 20th is the day Neil Armstrong took humanity’s very first step on the surface of the moon, changing history forever.
 
It happened at exactly 10:56 PM Eastern time and I’m betting most of us who were around then stayed up to watch it. Which is why this listing I found in the July 1969 TV Guide is so surprising – those first steps were actually supposed to occur at around 2 in the morning, when most of us would long be in bed. Although it would definitely have been worth staying up for!
 
https://i.postimg.cc/Z5LbxJLH/Apollo11-Coverage.jpg

https://i.postimg.cc/282h9NTk/Apollo11listing-July20-1969.jpg

 
I’ve never heard an explanation for why NASA moved it up, unless it was to get those eyeballs and not have one of the most significant achievements in human history air to a reduced audience in the United States.
 
TV Guide devoted almost its entire issue to that indelible moment. Here’s a look at what they published in that week’s edition.
 
https://i.postimg.cc/FHHqwm4D/Apollo-11-Cover.jpg

https://i.postimg.cc/vTwkKVYV/Apollo-11-Article1.jpg

 
https://i.postimg.cc/0NLB6wJB/Apollo-11-Article2.jpg
 
I’m guessing most of us tuned in that night – it was on every station – were watching the one broadcaster most associated with the mission, the late, great Walter Cronkite of CBS. He even had his own column in the Guide that week.

https://i.postimg.cc/htRv0yRD/Apollo11-Cronkite1.jpg

 
https://i.postimg.cc/L47nJ4yZ/Apollo11-Cronkite2.jpg

 
Cronkite always maintained he was embarrassed by his reaction of simply saying "Oh boy!" because he was so excited, he hadn't prepared anything for the moment. It turns out that emotion was the same one many of us watching at home were feeling, too. 




And of course, what would a moon landing be without a word from our sponsor?
 
https://i.ibb.co/t4HXMzJ/Apollo-11-Moon-On-The-Man-Sponsored-Coverge-Ad-July-1969.jpg


Well, hey, at least it wasn’t for Tang…

 

July 20, 2022 11:07 am  #2


Re: You Were Watching This Exactly 53 Years Ago Tonight

First of the two videos is geoblocked for me... don't have a VPN.

 

July 20, 2022 11:22 am  #3


Re: You Were Watching This Exactly 53 Years Ago Tonight

Thanks for the head's up. I forgot I had my VPN on. I've switched it to one you should be able to view.

     Thread Starter
 

July 20, 2022 11:38 am  #4


Re: You Were Watching This Exactly 53 Years Ago Tonight

I remember that Sunday night well. There was a large tropo opening that evening. I was able to receive ch 3 and 5 from Syracuse, ch 8, 10 and 13 from Rochester and ch 12 from Erie. The only time I can remember where I had a watchable picture on every VHF channel and it was the same program. No rotor either. The family watched everything with Uncle Walter on ch 4.

 

July 20, 2022 11:41 am  #5


Re: You Were Watching This Exactly 53 Years Ago Tonight

I suspect a lot of kids were allowed to stay up late past their bedtimes that night. One memory I have is looking up from the TV to the window and seeing the moon from my parents' den. As a young person, I actually wondered if I could see them up there! (The answer: I couldn't!)

     Thread Starter
 

July 20, 2022 12:13 pm  #6


Re: You Were Watching This Exactly 53 Years Ago Tonight

Of course we could stay up past our bedtime. It was summer vacation. No school the next day. But all the dads still had to go to work on Monday. That must have been tough.

 

July 20, 2022 1:03 pm  #7


Re: You Were Watching This Exactly 53 Years Ago Tonight

We all know what happened with a later mission, Apollo 13. Ron Howard's movie showed fairly well what took place, but unless you were around in April 1970, it's easy to forget how close we came to a literal version of "Lost In Space."

I find this listing both fascinating and a bit eerie. Here's what was supposed to happen if it was, as the TV Guide article notes, "a textbook flight." Instead, it became one for the history textbooks. 

https://i.postimg.cc/W176JV6Z/Apollo-13-What-Might-Have-Been-TV-Guide-April-11-1970.jpg

     Thread Starter
 

July 20, 2022 1:26 pm  #8


Re: You Were Watching This Exactly 53 Years Ago Tonight

=12px<< I’ve never heard an explanation for why NASA moved it up, unless it was to get those eyeballs and not have one of the most significant achievements in human history air to a reduced audience in the United States.

I read that Armstrong and Aldrin were ready to go, so there was no need to wait. So out they went.

I watched the moon walk on a black-and-white TV at my parent`s place in Etobicoke (we didn`t get colour for another year).

Last edited by Dale Patterson (July 20, 2022 1:28 pm)


"Life without echo is really no life at all." - Dan Ingram
 

July 20, 2022 2:01 pm  #9


Re: You Were Watching This Exactly 53 Years Ago Tonight

Didn't matter in the end. The main event was in black and white, one of the last history makers that wasn't in colour. 

We didn't get a colour TV until the early 70s. As I recall, when we did, it was a Viking from Eaton's. And I remember we could never quite get the tint right. The worst thing you could do to a neurotic like me is make the colour and the tint adjustable. I could never quite stop fiddling with those two control knobs, much to my family's dismay. 

     Thread Starter
 

July 20, 2022 4:21 pm  #10


Re: You Were Watching This Exactly 53 Years Ago Tonight

Dale Patterson wrote:

=12px<< I’ve never heard an explanation for why NASA moved it up, unless it was to get those eyeballs and not have one of the most significant achievements in human history air to a reduced audience in the United States.

I read that Armstrong and Aldrin were ready to go, so there was no need to wait. So out they went.

I watched the moon walk on a black-and-white TV at my parent`s place in Etobicoke (we didn`t get colour for another year).

Correct.  The actual Flight Plan called for a crew "Rest Period" after the landing,  however it was openly discussed among the press and NASA staff that the crew would want to get on the surface as soon as possible.  The flight plan however,  was not modified in order to provide extra time to prepare in case any problems arose.   None did and Armstrong stepped out at the earlier time.
 

 

July 20, 2022 4:36 pm  #11


Re: You Were Watching This Exactly 53 Years Ago Tonight

The whole thing was a set. lol 





 

Last edited by Radiowiz (July 20, 2022 4:36 pm)


RadioWiz & RadioQuiz are NOT the same person. 
RadioWiz & THE Wiz are NOT the same person.

 
 

July 21, 2022 12:18 pm  #12


Re: You Were Watching This Exactly 53 Years Ago Tonight

Here are some great photos from the Toronto Star from 53 years ago.  Note that 30,000 people filled Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto to watch the landing on the big screen. Nice shot of CTV's coverage with Harvey Kirk..https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2019/07/15/50-years-ago-humans-set-foot-on-the-moon-for-the-first-time-and-toronto-watched-in-awe.html

 

July 22, 2022 8:22 am  #13


Re: You Were Watching This Exactly 53 Years Ago Tonight

My first reaction. Don't any of these people have a television set in their homes? I never knew there was a huge watch party at Nathan Phillips Square. The only time I recall people standing around watching a television in a store window was during the 1972 Canada/Russia hockey series.

 

July 22, 2022 2:54 pm  #14


Re: You Were Watching This Exactly 53 Years Ago Tonight

I think part of the novelty was the fact it was hot in Toronto July 1969, and a lot of people wouldn't have had air conditioning.  Good chance for people to mingle, and be a part of history in the making.  The fact that Toronto city hall had a giant screen telecasting the whole event was a big draw as well.  I wonder if they had the broadcast in colour or B&W.  CTV was broadcasting in colour but what was shown on the big screen, may have been black and white. Anyway pretty impressive for the time. 

 

July 22, 2022 3:12 pm  #15


Re: You Were Watching This Exactly 53 Years Ago Tonight

paterson1 wrote:

I think part of the novelty was the fact it was hot in Toronto July 1969, and a lot of people wouldn't have had air conditioning.  Good chance for people to mingle, and be a part of history in the making.  The fact that Toronto city hall had a giant screen telecasting the whole event was a big draw as well.  I wonder if they had the broadcast in colour or B&W.  CTV was broadcasting in colour but what was shown on the big screen, may have been black and white. Anyway pretty impressive for the time. 

Good point P1. Many families, including mine, did not have A/C back then. My mom would shut the house up and turn on the furnace fan which would blow the cool basement air upstairs through the vents. That helped a bit.