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» RAILforum » General Forums » Open Discussion » July 20, 1969; Where Were You?

   
Author Topic: July 20, 1969; Where Were You?
Gilbert B Norman
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That is the day Apollo 11 landed on the Moon.

Probably could pose this question at other sites and the answer would be "I wasn't". Could even be "My Mom and Dad weren't".

But nevertheless, here is mine.

I had returned to University of Illinois for the two Semesters and Summer School I needed to graduate. That weekend, I had taken a railfan joyride with the younger Brother, also U of I, of a friend who graduated "on schedule". After Don got down to Champaign (IC), it was drive to STLouis (parking under the Union Station shed), then riding the MP to Jeff City (funny how with an under age, Holiday Inn wouldn't even serve me). Next morning back to STL on the MP (never been on the line in the Amtrak era). The plan was for Don to drive my car to Bloomington (he had an hour head start), me to ride GM&O to Bloomington, swap there, he riding back to Chicago, me driving to Champaign. We had both heard on the radio the 215P (CT) landing, but Don would have missed the televised walk. He then "can I come to Champaign with you, I'll crash somewhere (floor in my room) then I can see the walk".

Well that's what happened; we watched the "small step giant leap" on a TV in the Illini Union.

What I remember most is that at the height of student protests, the whole room erupted in cheers then the "USA chant". What a momentary relief for me, a Vietnam veteran, to see such unity in the year that didn't include too much of such.

Posts: 9388 | From: Clarendon Hills, IL USA (BNSF Chicago Sub MP 18.71) | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
George Harris
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Missed the view because I was in basic training due to one of these "The country wants you" missives. General thought was that we would have colonies on Mars by now if not much sooner. Where has our urge to explore gone?
Posts: 2693 | From: Olive Branch MS | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gilbert B Norman
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Mr Harris, into our Social Security and Railroad Retirement checks.

Oh, and don't forget the Medicare benefits.

Posts: 9388 | From: Clarendon Hills, IL USA (BNSF Chicago Sub MP 18.71) | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
bill613a
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Kent State happened in May of 1970.
Posts: 37 | From: LAKEWOOD, OHIO | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gilbert B Norman
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Can't be sure what this will return beyond a paywall, but here goes.

Bill 613a is quite correct regarding Kent State. Accordingly, I edited reference to such out of the originating posting.

Here is a quotation from an article contained within the linked material from The New York Times providing a summary of the major social events that occurred during 1969:
  • A partial accounting of the events of 1969 alone would include the Manson’s family’s murder of Sharon Tate and others, riots in Greenwich Village after the police raided a gay bar called the Stonewall Inn that have come to signify the beginning of the modern gay rights movement, and the waging of a war against the government by the Weather Underground, a militant offshoot of Students for a Democratic Society.

    The big movie that year was “Midnight Cowboy”, a gritty X-Rated portrait of hustlers in Times Square, which went on to win an Oscar. Woodstock – three days of peace, love and music in the mud in Upstate New York – was followed a few months later by the Altamont festival in California, where a man was killed on camera while the Rolling Stones sang “Under My Thumb”.

    That fall, the Beatles quietly began to break up.

    On the eve of the Apollo 11 launch, the Rev. Ralph David Abernathy arrived at Cape Canaveral in Florida with a mule team and a delegation of the poor, singing “We Shall Overcome.” He urged NASA administrator, Thomas Paine, to cancel the launch and spend the money “to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, tend the sick and house the homeless.”

Posts: 9388 | From: Clarendon Hills, IL USA (BNSF Chicago Sub MP 18.71) | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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