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msh's avatar

For the oldies but goodies: Where were you in April of 1970?

Asked by msh (4262points) December 21st, 2015

For all conscious in the 1960’s-1970’s, the Apollo Space Program was a definite topic that most knew of, and watched on television. It was something that had never been done before (aside from the backyard Red Flyer attempts) and captured people’s imaginations around the world. Yes, even those who believed that it was all carried out on a sound stage.
Apollo 13 is currently being aired on a TV channel. It is one of my ‘top 3 fav movies’, probably in first place. I’ve seen it twenty bazillion times, and still react as if it were the first. Seeing what was happening from this perspective sure was different from what it was for all here in the public. It was as if the world stopped to watch the frightening scenario play out, just like they had when Neil Armstrong took that ‘small step’ a couple of years earlier.
Where were you? Did you watch it unfold? Did you see all of the news reports about the best to worst case outcomes? Times Square News Reader leads? The Pope’s mass for the crew? In-depth news coverage?
Now folks are hard-pressed to be able to have any knowledge of where, whom, or what astronauts are out and about and why.

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24 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

I was a freshman in high school, in California, well aware of the problem. We followed Walter Cronkite, so we were pretty much up to speed on the whole story.

jaytkay's avatar

I loved watching the space shots on TV, with Walter Cronkite explaining what was happening.

My dad was a newspaperman and he would bring us glossy 8×10s from the NASA press packets. I had a collection of high-res prints of photos like this

I remember being a little upset once because I didn’t get home from school in time to see an Apollo splashdown live on TV.

Though oddly I don’t recall following the Apollo 13 story live.

Haleth's avatar

My parents were middle-school aged. I was born in 1987.


It would have been amazing to see these things the first time around. Hopefully we will make it to Mars in our lifetimes.

Cruiser's avatar

I was in the hospital trying my best to not die.

canidmajor's avatar

We were all glued to the TV, wringing our hands and freaking out.
When I saw the movie I was on the edge of my seat, even though I remembered it.

SQUEEKY2's avatar

I was in 1st grade but I do sorta remember this.

Seek's avatar

I was 15½ years from life, but my husband was 3 months old, living in a hippie commune in Illinois.

Neither one of us knew anything about the space program.

jca's avatar

I was four years old and I went to Montessori School.

Brian1946's avatar

I was in the US Navy then.

I was probably being held against my will on board the USS Yarnell.

filmfann's avatar

I was a teenager, and obsessed with following the moon missions. I remember it well.

Pachy's avatar

I had just moved from NYC to Dallas to begin my career in advertising… a career from which I would derive a very decent salary and much creative fulfilment for the next four decades.

rojo's avatar

I don’t recall being focused on the happenings of NASA, which is surprising considering my level of interest in the space program, but I was 15 years old, in 9th grade, had adjusted to high school but trying to keep my grades up, had a high degree of focus on the opposite sex, and living for the upcoming summer vacation during which I planned on spending as much time as possible on Padre Island.

tedibear's avatar

I was in Kindergarten. I don’t remember the Apollo 13 crisis, but do have a vague memory of Neil Armstrong walking on the moon.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Apollo 13 is one of my favorite movies! I could tell a whole long story about it but…well, I could watch it once a week and not be sick of it.
I remember the moon landing. Dad called us downstairs to see it (just like in Apollo 13…the older daughter is about how old I was (12), and her clothes and accessories are so authentic…I related to her.)
I don’t remember 13, tho. Didn’t even know about it until I got the VHS in 1995.

gondwanalon's avatar

I was a senior in high school and my buddy and I were glued to the radio reports as the landing took place. The instant that we heard on the radio that the landing was successful my buddy started screaming and running through the house yelling “WE DID IT!!!” over and over. It’s permanently embossed in my brain. Then we waited several hours for Armstrong to step outside and onto the Moon all the while wondering what is taking him so long. Anyway I filmed the even on TV with my 8mm movie camera. I was surprised and delighted that my film turned out so well. Wish that I still had it. My girl friend through it away.

Coloma's avatar

I was 10 and remember well being highly annoyed that my mother insisted I come in from playing with friends outside to watch the moon walk. I did not care, but I did as I was told and honestly, obviously, I was too young to really feel the amazement, it wasn’t all that mind blowing for me. More like, ” yeah, that’s neato but I want to go back outside!” haha

zenvelo's avatar

@gondwanalon That was Apollo 11. April 1970 was the Apollo 13 mission explosion and return.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@Coloma What @zenvelo said. The moon landing was in July 1969, not April 1970.

Apollo 13 is mind blowing, really. I actually discovered a Life magazine from 1970 that featured Apollo 13. It was rolled up in the plastic windows of a 1968 boat we bought several years ago. I read the whole article. It was like watching the movie.

Coloma's avatar

^^^ Oops…oh well, have my space missions mixed up.

gondwanalon's avatar

Sorry you all. I should have read the question. HA!

msh's avatar

Thanks all! What wonderous things we have all seen, eh?

No sorry needed @gondwanalon! S’ok.
Apollo 11 or 13, it was All too cool and exciting!
Everyone remembers where they were that exact moment for that first step.
It was a snapshot of a time of awe and amazement, wasn’t it?
Man, she threw the films away? Seriously? Argh!
It would be fun to see it now.
An early forerunner of the VCR – smart! :)

@Dutchess_III – Oh my gosh- I remember that issue! We got all kinds of magazines, I would pour over them. Ooo- flashback! My elder siblings always got ‘dibs to keep’ on the good ones like your copy, first. I’m so glad you wrote about finding that. It brought back really happy memories. Thank you. :)

I will continue to watch that film, whenever I see it’s playing. I will still get goosebumps, and fireworks in my stomach, every time that I am supposed to. It’s like rereading a favorite book for me.
Ron Howard and Tom Hanks went on to produce and recreate every Apollo mission, in a series. I guess they really love it all, also.
Smart boys.

msh's avatar

For any Apollo fans- or those who love the photo entitled Moon Rise, which spurred the Environmental Movement, enjoy this and some surprise info! I did.

NASA releases new photo of Earth

Dutchess_III's avatar

50/50. I’d SO not volunteer for that mission!

msh's avatar

Wow- you and me both!!! :)

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