50th Anniversary of the 1968 Apollo 8 Mission

by NinaShelton

50th Anniversary of the 1968 Apollo 8 Mission

December 15 & 16, 2018
C-SPAN3's American History TV


On December 21, 1968, Apollo 8 launched mankind into the moon's orbit for the first time. The crew's Christmas Eve live TV broadcast ended the tumultuous year, and the mission successfully cleared the way for the 1969 moon landing. To mark the 50th anniversary, American History TV features a look at that historic space capsule, oral history interviews with astronauts, and archival film on our Reel America series. 


 9-10 am ET Sunday December 16
LIVE on American History TV & C-SPAN's Washington Journal
Robert Kurson joins us from the Apollo 8 capsule at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry to take calls and social media questions about the mission, the three astronauts onboard, and the Cold War imperatives behind the decision to go forward despite the hazards. Mr. Kurson is author of "Rocket Men: The Daring Odyssey of Apollo 8 and the Astronauts Who Made Man's First Journey to the Moon." We invite viewers to share their memories of Apollo 8 and ask: Should the U.S. land astronauts on the moon again?


10pm ET Saturday December 15 & 4pm ET Sunday December 16
Reel America: "Debrief, Apollo 8"
This 1969 NASA film documents the December 21 to December 27, 1968 manned mission to orbit the moon. It shows the activities of astronauts Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders, features photography of the lunar surface, scenes from Mission Control in Houston, and the iconic photo of the Earth as seen from lunar orbit.    



 10pm ET Saturday December 22 & 4pm ET Sunday December 23

Reel America: "Man at the Moon: The Flight of Apollo 8"  
This hour-long 1968 CBS News Special Report is anchored by Walter Cronkite and includes pre-mission interviews with the astronauts and extended portions of the television coverage from lift-off to lunar orbit to splashdown. 


10 am ET Sunday December 16
Oral Histories: Frank Borman
Frank Borman was a Gemini and Apollo astronaut who served as Apollo 8's commander. This interview, recorded in 1999, is from the oral history program at the NASA Johnson Space Center.


 4:30pm ET Sunday December 16
Oral Histories: James Lovell 
James Lovell is a veteran of the Gemini and Apollo missions, and was command module pilot on Apollo 8. He commanded Apollo 13 in 1970, a mission to land on the moon that was aborted due to an onboard explosion. The interview is also from NASA's oral history program at the Johnson Space Center. 

 All of our Apollo 8 programming re-airs on American History TV on Christmas Eve, December 24, beginning at 10:30am ET.