WKU Hardin Planetarium celebrates 50th anniversary of moon landing

(Photo: Allie Hennard)
(Photo: Allie Hennard)(WBKO)
Published: Jul. 20, 2019 at 6:22 PM CDT
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People all over the country celebrated the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.

Locally, hundreds gathered at the WKU Hardin Planetarium to take part in their celebration.

Beginning at 1:00 p.m., the planetarium featured screenings of rare Apollo-related films with rediscovered and restored footage taken during preparation for the mission.

"This is a part of our history that brought the nation together. We just need to remember that, with it being the 50th anniversary, we don't get this chance very often," Mitchell Berman said, who played Neil Armstrong in "Footsteps to the Moon."

Richard Gelderman, Hardin Planetarium's director was amazed at the emotion and excitement conveyed in the film. He noted as he sat in the audience that "we were all on the edge of our seats, even though we knew good and well how it was going to end."

The celebration also consisted of a rocket launch, moon landing trivia contest, theatrical excerpt from "Footsteps to the Moon", and several interactive exhibits.

"That time in America, there was a lot going on. We had civil rights, we had riots, Vietnam, and that was something that brought everybody together. That's what American needed at that time," said John Patterson, who was 14 years old during the moon landing.

During that moment in 1969, everyone can recall where they were.

"I was sitting there glued to the TV. I was glued to that TV from the moment of blastoff," Patterson said. "The appreciation of what we have today because of that moment -- this was a major event in the history of the planet basically."