We got millions of telegrams after we landed, but the one I remember most was, “Congratulations to the crew of Apollo 8. You saved 1968.” We didn’t save it [ourselves] — but a lot of the people who made Apollo work saved it.
Not only that, he also thanked all the hard work of the people who helped get Lovell, Anders & Borman to the moon and back safely.
Another thing they left as a legacy of the mission is their famous, and to some infamous, Christmas message whilst orbiting the moon.
You can follow the mission in real time, with a slight delay of 45 years, on twitter. There are a couple of accounts broadcasting the mission so just search for #Apollo8
This is one of the tweets that I have just spotted over on twitter about the current state of the mission [The CAPCOM referred to is Michael Collins, Apollo 11’s Command Module Pilot]:
#Apollo8 Anders asked for a little music. Not just entertainment, shows comm system working. Carr offered to have CAPCOM Collins sing.
— Liz Suckow (@LizMSuckow) December 23, 2013
Back to the events that made headlines in the year:
January saw the Viet Cong start the Tet offensive.
In February we saw Eddie Adams’ iconic image of Nguyễn Ngọc Loan executing Nguyễn Văn Lém.
April saw the premiere of 2001: A Space Odyssey but that was overshadowed with the assassination of Martin Luther King two days later on the 4th.
We’re now half way through 1968 with June. I was hoping that we got this far we would see a month without violence. I was proved wrong as on the 5th, Robert Kennedy was shot and killed in LA.
July saw the start of a small semiconductor company called Intel, a coup d’état in Iraq saw Saddam Hussein become Vice Chairman of the Revolutionary Council. Then to keep with what else happened this year, we have another riot. This time in Cleveland,
August saw the end of the Prague spring that started earlier in the year. It ended with the invasion of Russian troops to stamp out the reforms. This left Czechoslovakia under Russian control until 1989.
Good news for September. No major violent events to report. The first month of the year this can be said! The Tet offensive, that started back in January, finishes, Hawaii 5-O debuts on CBS and Boeing unveils their new airliner the 747.
October was quite a quiet month but it did have the Apollo 7 mission and the month ended with another iconic image from the Mexico Olympics.