Apollo 8 (December 21–27, 1968) was the second crewed mission in the
United States Apollo space program and the first to leave low Earth
orbit, reach the Moon, orbit it, and return. The three-astronaut
crew – Commander Frank Borman, Command Module Pilot Jim Lovell, and
Lunar Module Pilot William Anders – were the first people to witness
and photograph an Earthrise (pictured) and to escape the gravity of
another celestial body. The third flight of the Saturn V rocket, the
mission was also the first human spaceflight launched from the Kennedy
Space Center, adjacent to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.
Apollo 8 took almost three days to travel to the Moon, and orbited it
ten times over the course of 20 hours. In orbit, the crew made a
Christmas Eve television broadcast, reading the first 10 verses from the
Book of Genesis. At the time, the broadcast was the most watched TV
Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_8>
Today's selected anniversaries:
"Silent Night", a Christmas carol by Josef Mohr and Franz
Gruber, was first performed in a church in Austria.
Seventy-three people were crushed to death in a stampede after
someone falsely yelled "fire" at a crowded Christmas party in Calumet,
On New Zealand's North Island, at Tangiwai, a railway bridge
was damaged by a lahar and collapsed beneath a passenger train, killing
The Lord's Resistance Army, a Ugandan rebel group, began
attacks on several villages in Haut-Uele District, Democratic Republic
of the Congo, resulting in at least 400 deaths and numerous atrocities.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
1. (countable, uncountable) Any of several hemiparasitic evergreen
plants of the order Santalales with white berries that grow in the
crowns of apple trees, oaks, and other trees, such as the European
mistletoe (Viscum album) and American mistletoe or eastern mistletoe
2. (uncountable) A sprig of one such plant used as a Christmas
decoration, associated with the custom that a man may kiss any woman
standing beneath it.
Wikiquote quote of the day:
"God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the
waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good." And from the crew
of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas, and
God bless all of you — all of you on the good Earth.