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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

It's a history thing

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2012/07/23/157250870/sally-ride-first-american-woman-in-space-is-dead

She was a household name, I'm pretty sure.  First American woman in space.

In her memory, I am thinking of how our lives were enriched by the space program.  My grandchildren will only hear about it (the Space Program, NASA) in school, much as my children learned about Viet Nam.

I wonder how the history books will have been written.

Since Viet Nam, women have become a little bit more of a political force.  "Little bit" reflects the number of our government's representatives who are women, not to mention the glass ceiling which continues to shine.

Since men walked on the moon, NASA has become part of history.  I'm glad to occasionally see something on PBS about it.  Earlier this month there was an interesting show (lots of British interviews, perhaps produced in Britain?) on the last Apollo mission.   Great shots of the action of landing and doing experiments on the moon surface.  The last pictures taken of earth from the moon.  The last time people were walking there.  Will we ever go back?  I wonder.










2 comments:

  1. I didn't mean that Viet Nam and NASA and the space program are in any way equally valid as human endeavors...simply that they are now historic, and those who lived through them will have very different experiences of them than those who learn about them through history lessons.

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  2. I hope my son learns recent history the right way - important accomplishments and historic conflicts so often seem to get "whitewashed" and politicized in the history books. I always maintain that it is fine for the schools to teach sex ed and history, as long as the parents are there in the wings making sure that the misinformation gets corrected. We only learn not to make mistakes based on history, if we understand the true nature of historical events. My father served in Vietnam, and the history I learned in school was vastly different from his experience. I was lucky to have that additional perspective; other children with younger parents were not.

    I sincerely hope that the US space program is revived in my son's lifetime.

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