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.

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Related Topics Space Apollo program Human spaceflight Society and Culture
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