Take a look back at Franklin County’s history through news and photos that appeared in local newspapers 25, 50, and 100 years ago on July 21.
25 YEARS AGO
Thursday – July 21, 1994
“Columbia Crew Pays Tribute to Apollo 11 Crew”
Columbia’s astronauts conducted a final round of laboratory experiments today after paying tribute to the astronauts of Apollo 11 and their historic feat 25 years ago.
Astronaut Carl Walz sent down a message on behalf of the seven-member crew at 10:56 p.m. Wednesday, the moment Neil Armstrong took the first human step on the moon.
“This occasion was unique in human history, the fulfillment of one of humanity’s oldest desires: to explore to the limits and then to go beyond,” Walz said. “It buoyed the spirit of the .entire world.”
He added that Columbia is taking “its own small step” on the 14-day science mission, which focuses on ways humans could live permanently in space.
“We hope that our research . . . and the international space station will continue to buoy up the human spirit and capture the imagination of this generation and generations to come,’ said. Walz.
Astronaut Leroy Chiao tried to replace a blown fuse on equipment for the 82nd and final experiment of the mission today, but he found a different electrical problem inside the unit and the plan was scrapped.
50 YEARS AGO
Monday – July 21, 1969
“Men on the Moon – Blast Into Orbit”
Space Center – Houston – Neil A. Armstrong and Edwin E. Aldrin Jr. blasted off safely from the moon and into lunar orbit today, beginning the complex maneuvers to link up with their mother ship. They left behind their footprints in the lunar dust and in the histoiy of man.
Their liftoff began 69 seconds after the command ship, with Michael Collins its lone passenger, passed 69 miles above Tranquillity Base. Seven minutes later, they entered orbit and a 3 1/2-hour chase began.
If all went well, the two ships would link up at 5:32 p.m. EDT. and head for home at 12:57 a.m. Tuesday.
Their thrust lander, which settled them onto the surface Sunday for a 21-hour stay, served them, too, at liftoff. They left behind the spindly-legged lower stage, their launching platform, as a permanent memento of July 20, 1969 – the day man landed on the moon.
It was the first time a rocket had lifted anything from the moon.
Mission control awakened the moon men shortly after 11 a.m. following a six-hour rest period. Instruments which monitored Armstrong during the night indicated he slept fitfully. There is only one set of biomedical instruments in the cabin so Aldrin was not monitored.
Checking of systems and switch settings for the critical liftoff was the No. 1 priority after wakeup.
A successful liftoff would shoot them into lunar orbit to chase down Michael Collins, orbiting some 65 miles overhead in the Apollo 11 command ship.
Once linked up, they plan to fire themselves back toward earth early Tuesday, ending a space odyssey in which they etched their names beside those of history’s great explorers, Columbus, Balboa, Magellan, da Gama and Byrd.
Through the magic of television, an estimated 500 million people around the world had a ringside seat to man’s greatest adventure.
It was unforgettable.
Armstrong climbed through the LM hatch and started backing down a nine-rung ladder. On the second rung from the bottom, he opened a compartment, exposing a television camera.
The picture was black and white and somewhat jerky, but it recorded history.
Among scientists, there was elation that the crew had landed in an area with a variety of rocks, a treasure that held at least the hope of a rich payoff in the search to learn more about moon and earth.
As Armstrong planted his size 9 left boot on the powdery surface at 10:56 p.m. Sunday, he spoke words that will be remembered for all time: “That’s one small step for man, a giant leap for mankind.”
The camera trained on Aldrin as he stepped on the far shore 20 minutes later and exclaimed: “and contemplate the events of the past few hours and to give thanks in his or her own way.”
They planted an American flag and saluted it, but made it plain they came to the moon as an ambassador for all mankind.
They unveiled stainless steel plaque bearing these words:
“Here men from planet earth first set foot upon the moon, July, 1969. A.D. We came in peace for all mankind.”
They left on the moon a disc on which messages from the leaders of 76 nations had been recorded. They will return to earth with them the flags of 136 nations, including Russia. And they left behind mementos for three Americans and two Russians who died for the cause space exploration.
100 YEARS AGO
Monday – July 21, 1919