On July 20th of 1969, the ‘Eagle’ moon lander of Apollo 11 became the first manned spacecraft to arrive on the lunar surface. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon that Sunday night, around 10 p.m. La Crosse time, as a worldwide audience watched in black-and-white on TV. The video camera on the lunar lander was switched on just as Armstrong was climbing down the ladder to the lunar soil. At least one TV network had actors simulating what the astronauts were doing, when there wasn’t live video from NASA.
Other things were making news on Earth that weekend. Senator Ted Kennedy drove off a bridge on Chappaquiddick Island, and a young woman riding with him died. The new Miss Universe was named Gloria Diaz, the first winner from the Philippines.
The #1 song in America was the dark futuristic fantasy “In the Year 2525” by Zager and Evans, and the movie “Easy Rider” was new to theaters. And in La Crosse, the Carson and Barnes Circus had a parade on Main Street, the day man first landed on the moon, yesterday in La Crosse.