We were eating in a cafe that had a 50s-60s theme and had this front page of the LA Times from 1961 on the day Alan Shepard became the first American in space.

I didn’t do a good job of taking the picture, it’s at this weird angle (but here’s what an image search turned up).

What I found more interesting though was that article on the bottom-right.

This expresses sentiments that seem almost shocking today.


I don’t want to live in a world where science advances so rapidly that the man in the street doesn’t know what’s going on.

Think about that! It seems so quaint today, six decades on, when we take it for granted that people really have no clue about how things work.

And that’s not the only aspect that stood out:

But to me the most significant thing of this particular shot … is the fact that it takes men’s minds and eyes away from troubles and comparatively trivial problems, such as Laos and Cuba, and points out in the sky to what they are capable of doing.

Again, think about that! Dismissing domestic concerns as “comparatively trivial” would be pretty controversial today.

If it was possible to feel this sort of hope then, it must be possible to feel it again!