Today’s Document from the National Archives

Document for December 25th:
"Rising earth greets Apollo VIII astronauts..."

"Rising earth greets Apollo VIII astronauts as they come from behind the moon after the lunar orbit insertion burn. Earth is about 5 degrees above the horizon." By William Anders, December 29, 1968 (306-PSD-68-4049c); Records of the U.S. Information Agency; Record Group 255; National Archives and Records Administration.

While orbiting the moon on Christmas Eve, 1968, the three-man crew aboard the Apollo 8 spacecraft—Frank Borman, Jim Lovell, and Bill Anders—offered live holiday greetings from outer space. After describing the desolation and bleakness of the lunar landscape, the astronauts read from the first ten verses from the Book of Genesis. Commander Frank Borman concluded the historic interplanetary telecast—sent to an audience of half a billion people around the world—with the message: “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.”

Read more about Apollo 8 in Eyewitness...

Documents from Apollo 8 and other gripping eyewitness acounts from U.S. History are part of the Eyewitness exhibit--travelling to museums nationwide through 2008.
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Yesterday's document: December 24th
Treaty of Ghent

Tomorrow's document: December 26th
Prisoners Taken at Trenton

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