- Written by Barry Graham
- Category: Featured - Radio
- Published: 26 June 2019
During my 32 years of teaching, I often told my students that there were very few “defining moments” in their lives—those which would forever be etched into history and that they were witness to. I was fortunate to be in the classroom when the Berlin Wall fell and the 2000 disputed presidential election occurred. I told my students, “You will forever recall this moment in your lives.” For so many Americans, July 20, 1969 will always be their defining moment. It was late that evening when people huddled around their televisions to witness the unthinkable—man walking on the moon. It was a crowning achievement coming only eight years after President Kennedy had challenged Congress to commit itself to a moon landing.
I was 9 years old in 1969 and can still feel the excitement of staying up late with my family and seeing those grainy black and white images of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin descend the steps of the lunar module. We listened intensely as President Nixon offered his congratulations from the Oval Office. There wasn’t a car on the street and every neighbor’s lights were on. Clearly, for one brief moment, the entire country sat collectively watching and feeling that we, as a nation, succeeded in something extraordinary. I vividly recall my mother saying, “This is history. You will tell your children about it,” and I did. For 32 years, to classrooms full of kids, I discussed that defining moment in my life. And for a generation, it remains an indelible memory. This month, WHRV FM, celebrates the fiftieth anniversary of man landing on the moon with a series of specials which tracks the space race, the hard work of so many people at NASA, and the incredible moment that occurred late night July 20, 1969.
Tune in for these specials honoring the first moon landing:
7/3, noon, Hearsay: Guest host Joe Flanagan invites listeners to share their memories of July 20, 1969 with Justin Moore, Director of the Old Dominion University Pretlow Planetarium.
7/3, 1:00 p.m.: Washington Goes to the Moon, Part 1
7/10, 1:00 p.m.: Washington Goes to the Moon, Part 2
7/17, 1:00 p.m.: Race and Space
7/24, 1:00 p.m.: Rocketing Ahead
7/31, 1:00 p.m.: Rocket Girls and Astro-nettes
And all month, listeners will share their “moonshot memories” of where they were and how they felt on July 20, 1969. WHRV FM will air these memories throughout the month on 89.5 FM.