In 1969, the Caymanian Weekly, a precursor of the Cayman Compass, was among the many newspapers across the world that published stories on man’s first landing on the moon on 20 July. Here we reproduce the story that ran on the paper’s front page that week, headlined ‘Caymanians share in world’s admiration’.
“‘We’ve got a lift-off’ – ‘The Eagle has landed’ – ‘That’s one small step for man, one giant step for mankind’ – ‘They’re rising’ – ‘They’ve docked’ – these words that marked the tense and vital stages of the journey of Apollo 11 on and off the moon, will remain forever in the memory of those who followed on radio and television the most momentous journey of our time.
“In the Cayman Islands, as elsewhere throughout the world, people listened with concentration, tense with anxiety, silent with awe, yet alert, not wishing to miss a word, and full of wonder, that men were really walking on the moon. Words are inadequate to express the feeling of excitement and of admiration for the three US astronauts and the thousands of others who were all part of this breathtaking epic of contemporary history.
“Believe it or not, two people in Grand Cayman actually saw the moon walk by Armstrong and Aldrin on their TV sets. Dora and Winston Watler had their set switched on all the afternoon and evening on Sunday. Nothing had come through but as the camera on the moon came into action so a hazy picture appeared on their screen. Thus they had the tremendous thrill of seeing astronaut Neil Armstrong come down the steps of the lunar module and put his left foot on the lunar surface.
“Sandys and Glennis Sherwood too watched on TV but they took a weekend trip to Miami in order to do so.
“The crowded dining room at the Beach Club was silent as the voices over the radio recorded the lunar landing on Sunday afternoon. In homes and hotels, many were up most of Sunday night with their ears ‘glued’ to the radio, anxious not to miss one phase of this intriguing drama.
“Oh, the wonder of it all! Man is no longer earthbound. The representatives of all mankind have walked on a celestial body in the heavens. Who knows where this giant step will lead? We only know a new dimension has been added to our horizons. Beyond the moon are planets and spheres about which the children of today will probably know as much as we know of the Cayman Islands.
“And now the spacecraft Apollo 11, with all three astronauts and the precious samples from the lunar surface on board, is out of moon orbit and on its way back to Earth. These men will have fulfilled their task and on the moon forever will remain the American flag, the scientific instruments which they have set up and, on the steps from which they took that ‘giant leap’, a plaque which says ‘We came in peace for all mankind.’”