July 20, 1969 is one of those dates that bring memories of where one was and what was happening when the event appeared on the small screen TV. Exactly 47 years later, the Smithsonian has begun a year-long display of artifacts from Neil Armstrong’s “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” A trip to see it might make a good bucket list item.
While I shared the excitement of this great achievement, I must confess the first occasion that comes to my mind when someone mentions 1969 is not the moon landing but an event that occurred one month and one day before – the birth of our only daughter. (I apologize, Anna, for giving away your age.) We had been hoping for such an event for at least three years, so I hope you’ll excuse us if a Red Cross message to her father in Korea informing him that he had a baby girl has slightly more significance in the Butler family than the moon landing. This was back in the day when the obstetrician’s announcement at delivery settled the blue or pink question.
Our first big event of 1969 does color where I was and what I was doing as I watched the news of the second. My memories include sharing the excitement of the moon landing with an inquisitive five-year-old son while I juggled care of the new baby with making tapes and writing letters to an APO address in Korea. 1969 was a very significant year.