When soon-to-be astronaut Scott Carpenter voiced the soon-to-be very famous phrase, 50 years ago, America was in a much different place: at the start of a new adventure, the moon in its sights. It was space race all news, all the time. No Internet or cable, we had Cronkite who would take us all the way to Apollo 11.
It was the era of the “golden age of television” and TV news. We had Huntley, Brinkley and NBC News White Paper documentaries every month, in depth civics lessons about the issues of the day. An hour of well written, highly researched and “must see TV.” A blueprint for Frontline.
I’m reminded of this because of the 50th anniversary of Glenn’s flight. Back in “the day,” a landmark anniversary was a time to recall and relearn. An opportunity for a special program, that reminds us why we are so connected to the past. It would have been nice today to have seen such a documentary that brings us back to the Race For Space, it’s energy, propaganda, and unifying goal.
I’ll just have to settle for The Right Stuff. If I can find it.