filed under ‘better late’

So we’ve been hearing a lot about the 40th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing.  And I (Arlene) realize we’re a week or so late with this.  But hopefully you’ll forgive us.

At any rate, one of the things that’s been suggested lately in terms of archival outreach is to connect materials in the archives’ holdings to recent events in the news, if an anniversary really counts as news.  And suprising as it may seem, we do actually have a connect on this one.  We were somewhat unaware of it, until Mariecris started selecting materials from the McNutt slides to go up on the Alaska’s Digital Archives site.  And she found a slide that was a photo taken of a television broadcast of the Apollo moon landing.  Both of us had a similar reaction: look–somebody took a picture of a tv display!  Bet he’d have wanted a vcr or dvr.

television showing the Apollo moon landing.

television showing the Apollo moon landing.

And we showed it to our colleague, Kevin Tripp of AMIPA.  And Kevin got all excited.  Now, we understand that coming from different repositories, we don’t always get excited with the same things.  But this seemed a little strange to us.  Until he explained.  It’s a long story and I’m about 3000 miles away from my reference materials as I write this, so I won’t go into details just in case I get something wrong.

But the short version is–as near as I can tell–this was a first in Alaskan broadcast history.  It was the first live satellite television broadcase in Alaska.  It took the cooperation of the Alaska Communications System, military satellites, and probably multitudes of other partners to deliver the moon landing live to Alaskan viewers. It’s become so commonplace to us these days to see live feeds from all over the world (and sometimes off) that we forget that there was once a time when there was a first.

Oh, and footnote.  The photo above serves as a link to the image on the Alaska’s Digital Archives.  If you follow it, you’ll know everything we know about the image.  And if you search McNutt and moon on that page, you’ll find the other two images of the broadcast that we posted as well.