In honor of the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing, I am dedicating this week’s column to rerunning the local news items covering the mission. I was disappointed to find that most of our area newspapers ran very little about the missions. I was able to find one article in the archives here at The Licking News.
This article came out of Huntsville, Ala. and appears to be a press release sent to the hometown of people connected with the Apollo 11 missions. I found it interesting to learn that a Licking High School graduate was among the engineers that helped to design the Saturn V rocket that powered the Apollo series of spacecraft.
The headline read, “Connected With Apollo 11 Mission” in the July 17, 1969 edition of The Licking News. The content of the article follows.
HUNTSVILLE, ALA. – Donald E. Routh son of A. C. Routh of R. R., Licking, Mo., is a member of the organization that has played a major role in the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission.
He is an aerospace engineer in the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Ala.
The huge Saturn V rocket that lifted Apollo 11 from earth was developed under the direction of the Marshall Center, NASA’s largest organization.
Routh, a graduate of Licking High School, received his B.S. of E.E. degree in 1960 from Washington University in St. Louis.
His wife, Marie, is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Howard Quick of R.R., Licking.
I had really hoped for more to share from the local archives, but it seems that only major city newspapers covered the event at any level of detail as it was very heavily covered by television and radio.
One of the best archives I have been able to find came from the New York Daily News July 21, 1969. In a story written by Mark Bloom.
“Two men landed on the moon today and for more than two hours walked its forbidding surface in mankind’s first exploration of an alien world.
In the most incredible adventure in human history, these men coolly established earth’s first outpost in the universe, sending back an amazing panorama of views to millions of awed TV viewers.”
It saddens me to realize that much of the history of the event has been lost due to instability of the media used to store video archives and our lack of foresight as a nation to preserve this history in print. Being a technology guru, you might find it odd for me to state the importance of putting ink to paper. However, as can be clearly seen though-out history, it is the written word that survives the test of time.