Today is the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon launch. Whenever I look back over the rapid change and technological achievements over the 20th century, the thing that stands out as the most amazing in my mind is that humans (and by that I jingoistically mean Americans) figured out how to get an airplane off the ground in 1903 and by 1969 could send men to the moon and bring them back.
And it likely wasn’t a bunch of rich Ivy League rich kids content to earn a “gentleman’s C” who did it. Let’s face it, it was eggheads. Which is why, compared to Madison Avenue or publishing in the ’60s, NASA had no style. My sense is that it was a those damn meritocratic types who weren’t savvy at squash or tennis, and who liked straight collars and short sleeves. Can you imagine a Kennedy in a short-sleeved shirt? A patrician rolls up his sleeve just like a poor man. The preppiest person in the control room is a woman in a Lacoste shirt.
Those of you who lived through the era would know better than me. On this day in 1969, I was four months in utero.
Oh, and for a look a the tradlier side of NASA, don’t forget this celebrated Ask Andy thread on astronaut style circa 1960. — CC