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The Weblog at The View from the Core - Mon. 07/20/09 09:55:45 AM

"Tranquility Base Here. The Eagle Has Landed."

The fortieth anniversary of the first men on the Moon.

"One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

I was eleven years old when Neil Armstrong became the first man to step onto the Moon. That year, my parents gave me the book Footprints on the Moon as a Christmas present. I have scanned a few images from the twelth and last chapter, also entitled "Footprints on the Moon".

The estimable David Warren wrote something about the historic occasion, last month:

.... There was high poetry, too, but it had been delivered less self-consciously, a little earlier, as the vehicle containing Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin touched down. Paradoxically, that line gained all its poetry from being spoken, not in poetical language, but in mission jargon. It was:
"Tranquillity Base here. The Eagle has landed."
In the daily newspapers of the morning after (I still have one of them in my possession), I could not for the life of me understand why this quote was not splashed in "double-deck banner." Instead we had endless permutations of the obvious, "Man lands on moon," with the "small step" quote often added in a subhead. "Have the editors no poetry in their souls?" I recall wondering. (I had plenty in mine at the age of 16.) ....

Those words were spoken by Neil Armstrong. There was other poetry that day, too, from Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, whose first words after stepping onto the Moon were these: "Beautiful. Beautiful. Beautiful. A magnificent desolation."

Lane Core Jr. CIW P — Mon. 07/20/09 09:55:45 AM
Categorized as Historical & Photos.


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