Dec. 24, 1968: Apollo 8 Christmas Eve broadcast
The Earth rising above the stark Moon, and came from the Apollo 8 mission during the waning days of a chaotic 1968. It's the first color photo -- called Earthrise -- taken by a person in space.
Frank Borman, James Lovell and William Anders had become the first men to orbit the moon.
A 45-year-old copy of The Herald detailed the historic moment.
The astronauts radioed home as they blasted out of orbit around the vast and lonely expanse and made their way back to the inviting planet they called "good Earth" in time for belated Christmas celebrations with their families.
The article relays the exchange between Lovell, who piloted the spacecraft, and his wife, Marilyn.
"Please be informed there is a Santa Claus," came Lovell's jubilant confirmation to earth that Apollo 8's trusty rocket engine worked, and tore the spacecraft from the grip of the moon and started it on its dash to earth.
In a Christmas message relayed to the astronauts nine hours after the crucial breakaway maneuver, Marilyn Lovell told her husband, "Your presents are waiting and roast beef and Yorkshire pudding will be on the table when you get home."
Paul Shane / Associated Press
Astronaut James Lovell, left, draws a smile from his wife, Marilyn Lovell, in 1969.
Standing near part of the spacecraft, Lovell, now 85, read Monday from the historic Christmas Eve broadcast.
From the Associated Press:
Lovell marked the 45th anniversary of the orbit and the famous broadcast a day early with a re-enactment of sorts at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry.
"The idea of bringing people together by a flight to the moon where we encompassed everybody in our thoughts is still very valid today," Lovell said. "The words that we read are very appropriate."
The original broadcast:
Read more from the Christmas 1968 issue of The Herald in our collection of historic front pages.
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