93% of televisions in the United States tuned in to see Neil Armstrong walk on the Moon. Can you believe 7% were watching something else? At 11pm on a Sunday?? But as much as we love it now, Apollo 11’s contemporary acclaim wasn’t exactly universal. Many people, all over America, had reservations about spending billions of dollars on space exploration instead of solving problems here on Earth. And some Americans had their eyes on a very different, much more important prize. The rise of Apollo coincided with the peak of the Civil Rights Movement (which technically ended with the signing of the Civil Rights Act in 1968—but we all know the struggle and the movement didn’t end there). In this episode, Emily, Matt, and Nick explore the intersection of these two moments in American history, discuss the protests, activists, and anthems of the time, and talk to Sylvia Drew Ivie about the issues then and how we’re still working to turn it all around.

Listen On: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | RadioPublic | Stitcher

Transcript

AirSpace is made possible by the generous support of Olay.

Related Topics Space Apollo program Human spaceflight Society and Culture
Twitter Comments? Contact Us
You may also like AirSpace January 01, 2018 AirSpace Season 2|Ep.7
Rock on the Moon
June 13, 2019
AirSpace Season 5, Ep. 5: Even Better Than the Real Thing November 11, 2021