You can’t talk about “media that makes a difference” without honoring one of the biggest TV events ever: Apollo 11 and the first man on the moon, July 20, 1969. An estimated 600 million people watched the action unfold on their television sets that day (contrast that with approximately 112 million who watch the Superbowl nowadays and you get the magnitude of the event).
That summer I was at Camp Walt Whitman in the mountains of New Hampshire. The entire camp was gathered in the cafeteria/auditorium to watch a single black & white television that had been wheeled in just for this occasion. The room was dark except for the grainy transmission from the TV set. Neil Armstrong spoke, “That’s one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind.” And just like that, we had put a man on the moon.
Our President, John F. Kennedy, set a goal for us to do so, nearly 7 years earlier, in 1962, when he said, “We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”
Watch a short clip with footage from that Walter Cronkite CBS broadcast here, including the first steps at 3:53, the famous quote at 4:11 (which Cronkite doesn’t completely hear at first), and that beautiful view of the Earth from the Moon at 4:44: