40 years ago this week on a Marconi black and white TV

The successful launch (finally) of the latest Shuttle astronauts comes on the eve of a very significant date in the American space program.

Today marks the fortieth anniversary of the launch of the Apollo 11
mission to the moon.

About three months shy of my tenth birthday, between swims and bonfires at my aunt and uncle’s rental cottages not far from Portland, Ontario I was watching the Apollo space mission on their old black-and-white television cabinet. These were the pre-cable days and the cottage antenna didn’t have a motorized rotor yet so my uncle had to go out in the evening spider-webs, mosquitoes and dew to turn the antenna by hand – guided by my aunt’s shouts through the screen windows. The goal was to get Walter Cronkite’s coverage on CBS which in this area of southeastern Ontario came from Channel 7, WWNY-TV in Carthage-Watertown, New York. (For some reason, the cable operator in the area now gets most of its U.S. network signals from Detroit, hundreds of kilometers away and much more urban than either eastern Ontario or upper New York State.)

The week progressed to its climax when we heard, and watched, the lunar landing and walk:

More to come, perhaps.


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