Chasing the Moon: Clip Screening and Discussion

The Santa Cruz Public Libraries’ will host a screening and discussion of a clip from the upcoming American Experience series “Chasing the Moon,” set to air on PBS July 8-10. The screening will take place at the Downtown Library, 224 Church St., on Thursday June 13th from 6:30-8 p.m.

The 50 minute clip from part 2 of the series is titled “Saving 1968”. In the clip, people working in the space program “missed the 60s” and the social turmoil that was ravaging the country at the time. After the tragic Apollo 1 fire, confidence in NASA is shaken. More than ever, NASA needs the first unmanned Saturn V rocket launch to succeed and prove to the country that the space program is still worth supporting. Intelligence reports that the Soviets are also making major attempts to get to the moon first accelerates the schedule for the Apollo 8 mission.

Poppy Northcutt, the first woman in an operational role in mission control, gets a lot of attention from press. The 25-year-old mathematics whiz proves herself in the all-male environment and uses her position to promote the idea that women are capable of technical scientific work.

On December 21, 1968, Apollo 8 launches. NASA, the astronauts’ families, and rest of the nation follow the Christmas mission that successfully circumnavigates the Moon, and as one American fan writes to astronaut Frank Borman afterwards, “saves 1968.”

This event is part of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries’ Summer Reading Program, “A Universe of Stories” is made possible through partnership with PBS. To learn more about our reading program or to sign up, visit

Thursday, June 13, 2019 at 6:30pm to 8:00pm

Santa Cruz Downtown Public Library, Upstairs Meeting Room
224 Church Street Santa Cruz, CA 95060

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