Apollo 11 Right on Course: Chicago Tribune Coverage of the Apollo 11 Mission
today at 9:25 pm
To celebrate the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 Mission we are sharing some of the coverage by the Chicago Tribune as it hit news stands each day. Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins launched aboard a Saturn V rocket from Cape Canaveral at 8:32 a.m. Chicago time, meaning most of the coverage regarding the launch itself was published in today’s paper- 52 years ago, of course.
There was plenty of coverage from several Chicago Tribune reporters and Tribune correspondents stationed around the country to report on all aspects of the space program. The front page led with a piece from the Tribune’s veteran space reporter, Fred Farrar titled, Lunar Mission’s Lift-Off Perfect. Reporters Sheila Wolfe and Glen Elsasser also had Apollo 11 articles published on the front page.
Coverage Around Chicago
Residents in the city of Chicago eagerly awaited the launch of Apollo 11 and tuned in to view the history launch from home and around town. Reporters Sara Jane Goodyear and Michael Killian penned a piece detailing the crowds around Chicago, including those at the Zenith Display salon, Prudential Building, the Adler Planetarium, and Assumption Catholic Church.
Reports and congratulations from around the world, including the Russian Space Agency and the Queen of England, were filed and published by Tribune correspondents. Of special interest though, was a piece about the lack of launch coverage in Latin America and the Caribbean.
A couple years ago I shared a story about how neither of my parents nor several family members and close family friends saw the launch of Apollo 11 or the Moon landing on television. I was met with disbelief and astonishment, because most people couldn’t imagine not having access or the ability to watch both. Imagine my surprise at finding a piece in the Tribune that corroborates some of their stories and experiences.
The article below details how NASA and COMSAT cut service to ENTEL right before the launch, essentially depriving millions in Latin America of any Apollo launch coverage at all.
Apollo 11 Launch Facts
Several additional pieces about the Apollo 11 launch were filed that included fun and interesting facts, a few relating to Chicago or Illinois. Two pieces detailed specific information added to microfilm that would be left behind on the lunar surface, launch data and lunar science experiments were detailed, and a special piece about Houston’s role in the mission was included.