Today we celebrate the 40th anniversary of a man on the moon for many reasons. The walk on the moon was a technological feat, a triumph of human courage, and a rallying cause for pride for millions of Americans and science geeks worldwide. The New York Times has been growing a veritable library of documentation and celebration of this event for a full week on their homepage, and has come up with some great reads. For those who experienced the moment of liftoff from in front of their boxy television sets in 1969, you'll appreciate this collection of 'moon memories' from Times readers (like the photo at left). For everyone who missed out on the 60's (why, God?) this 1969 timeline is your virtual time machine , covering such landmark events as the Beatles' last impromptu concert and the beginning of the end of Vietnam.
But, this talk of moon landings brings me to another subject. Where are the women? History class makes sure that every girl and boy is jeopardy ready with the name Neil Armstrong, but who was the first woman on the moon? I had to check about a dozen websites before I finally succumbed to the fact that no woman has ever been to the moon. Would you like me to repeat that? No woman has ever stepped foot on the big cheese, and I think today is a great occasion to stop and recognize this sorry discrepancy. Until the day when TV announcers proclaim 'one small step for woman, one giant leap for humankind,' here's to all the heroes in space, and a special shout out to the first lady in space, Valentina Vladimirovna Tereshkova. (For more on women who have navigated the stars, check out Almost Heaven: Women on the Frontiers of Space .)~Hannah
Photo courtesy of nyt.com
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