Apollo 8 Captain James Lovell 45 years after moon message

If you're old enough to remember December 24, 1968, you know it was a very special Christmas Eve
December 23, 2013 3:54:44 PM PST
If you're old enough to remember December 24, 1968, you know it was a very special Christmas Eve. On that day, astronauts sent a special message to earth as Apollo 8 orbited the moon.

Captain James Lovell was navigator on Apollo 8. He spoke at the Museum of Science and Industry, which is home to the Apollo 8 module

"On the 9th orbit around the moon. Here's what we said, 'For all the people on earth, the crew of Apollo 8 has a message we would like to send to you,'" Captain James Lovell

That message was as old and simple as it could be.

"And God called the night day. And the darkness he called night. And the evening and morning were the first day," Lovell said. "And God said let there be firmament in the midst of the waters. And let it divide the waters from the waters."

As they travelled the heavens, the astronauts read from the book of Genesis.

"We thought how fortunate that everything worked out to be around the moon on Christmas Eve and that we could at last have something up beat to give to the world that was sort in turmoil, especially here in the United States. We had a very bad year here in 1968," Lovell said.

After the reading, an atheist filed a lawsuit saying the message should have been nondenominational. Lovell still disagrees.

"We thought that was appropriate because it was for everybody. And you know you can have God as just Mother Nature. You can be an atheist but you have to believe in something," Lovell said.

From the crew of Apollo 8, the reading was a message to all of us from the moon to the earth and through the years.


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