The History Is In the Details
My preparation for today’s 50th anniversary has been by watching & especially listening to documentaries & analyses of most space missions prior to Apollo 11. The depth of information gathered, redacted, and presented by this Podcast is astronomical. One of my college professors said that the most accurate historical interpretation of an event “is in examining the details” including its contemporary context & social significance. Mr. Annis does this. In my graduate study we were taught to rely heavily on primary sources — for me it was ancient texts from 1500+ years ago. Thank goodness there are volumes of audio data to provide the play-by-play. His narration further defines the chronology. During the late 1960s & early ‘70s, my father contributed to the development of video & data recording systems used in spacecraft — via RCA in Camden NJ, one of NASA’s subcontractors. He was one of the key electrical engineers who invented a magnetic-tape recorder which flew on Skylab. The staff were given the official mission patches for those that they worked on in some capacity. I have his: Apollo 10, 11, 12, 15, Apollo-Soyuz, plus Skylab I & II. My dad was killed in 1993; my eldest brother that same year, too. In 1985 my grandfather died in a similar accident which could have been prevented. Recently I bought a $300 jacket at a thrift store for seven dollars, and I planned to have 11’s familiar “Eagle & Moon” patch affixed. After hearing the sad story of Apollo 1 (January 1967), I decided instead to use its own beautifully embroidered colorful but tasteful symbol. All six men —Grissom, White, Chafee, and Flint, Flint, Flint — died in the midst of tragic fire. History repeating itself? I think not. There are plenty of people who hail the triumph of “our” landing on the moon, and rightly we should. Personally though I choose to honor those who suffered the consequences of the negligence particular to them. The seamstress worked a miracle... it is sewn very deep into the leather like it had been there all along & was waiting to be uncovered. The learning of situational history works in similar fashion; the truth of the day (e.g., the audio clips, documents) uncovers a broader reality. And that brings understanding of that reality. I guess the spoken delivery is a bit slow & sometimes a little stilted, but this hefty podcast shares a great deal of primary source material. Present pursuit of knowledge about the past must inform the unfolding of the future. My $7.00 jacket testifies that the history is in the details. For that reason it is now priceless.
Reviewed on Apple Podcasts