Wednesday, December 24, 2008

It's A YouTube Christmas - Pt. 17

From time to time this Christmas season, I'll be posting some amazing videos that have been rescued by people like us and posted at the mecca of all things wonderful and obscure - YouTube.

I invite you to add a fun comment, witticism, clever remark, or observation in the comments section provided. Any comments deemed worthy of repeating will be included into this entry where all the world will see it.

For those who lived through the year 1968 and survived, they received a Christmas present 40 years ago today.

The year started off with the Tet Offensive that changed the whole outlook on the Vietnam War. The USS Pueblo was captured off North Korean waters and its crew was held and beaten for most of the year.

Across the sea, Paris students threw riots that stopped the country cold. In Czechoslovakia, reforms are attempted during the "Prague Spring" only to be crushed swiftly and cruelly by Soviet tanks and troops.

LBJ decides not to seek another term as President, setting off the most explosive election year that culminates with the Chicago police reeking mayhem on protesters at the Democratic National Convention.

Martin Luther King was assassinated on 4/6/68. Robert Kennedy was assassinated on 6/5/68. Tommie Smith and John Carlos give a Black Power salute atop the Olympic podium in Mexico City and are promptly thrown off the team and vilified for their silent protest.

Richard Nixon stages a political comeback for the ages and narrowly beats out Hubert Humphrey to win the presidency. The divides between old and young, rich and poor, and black and white are chasms.

By Christmas, 1968, the U.S. and the world was 99% scar tissue. So when Apollo 8 lifted off on December 21st, the world needed something... ANYTHING that was remotely positive and uplifting.

They got it - at the conclusion of their Christmas Eve broadcast:

My mother said she fought back the tears when watched this live in 1968. But when Frank Borman closed with "all of you on the good Earth", she lost it completely.

If you watched this live, I would love to read your thoughts and comments about what happened to you 40 years ago today. If you watching this for the first time or the 10,478th time, I would love to know what you think of it as well.


P.S. Remember to leave a few carrots for the reindeer with your milk and cookies for Santa!


Ignacio Esteban said...

Thanks for you time and excellent music, best wishes for you and family.

CaptainOT said...

Esteban - Thanks for the comment! Best wishes of the season to you/yours!