Pages From Our Past: American astronauts first to walk on moon (1969)

As the Elkhart Truth celebrates its 125th anniversary, take a look back at this front page from July 21, 1969.

Posted on July 6, 2014 at 7:39 a.m.

A massive front-page photo dominates the front page of the Elkhart Truth on this day, commemorating the landmark moment when American astronauts first set foot on the moon. The photo shows Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin leaving Apollo 11 “to follow Neil Armstrong on the moon Sunday night.” The caption’s awkward wording seems to capture a sense of awe from someone who likely never imagined he’d need to find the words to describe such an event.

The Truth’s coverage focuses on reactions from Elkhart residents who watched live coverage of the moon landing on TV. Many of the comments come from a range of teenagers offering their advice on where the space program should focus its efforts next — studying the moon or exploring other planets.

Several folks expressed pride that Americans were the first to set foot on the moon, and felt that the expense of the space program was justified for the level of accomplishment it achieved.

Margaret Uebler of 809 Taylor Street said it was wonderful and that she “sat there just awed” through the broadcast, but felt it was “too nerve racking” to go through another one. Gary Hainey of 516 Cottage Ave. said he “didn’t think the moon was made out of green cheese.”

A former resident of Elkhart expressed dissatisfaction, saying “It is God’s territory and if he intended us to be on the moon, he would have given us some sort of vision.”

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