Tuesday, July 16, 2019

July 20, 1969 - Remember the Alamo?

On July 16, 1969 Apollo 11 launched from earth to the moon and a few days later on July 20 Neil Armstrong became the first human to ever step foot on the lunar surface.  Do you remember what you were doing on that day?

That date was in the summer between kindergarten and first grade for me. We lived in Beverly, but in a few months I was going to move to Holden, Massachusetts.  I don't remember the moon landing at all because it happened at night and I was probably asleep. But my husband was a little bit older than me and he grew up to become an aerospace engineer, so of course he remembers this historic event!

Vincent was spending the summer with his grandparents in the little village of Miraflores de la Sierra outside of Madrid, Spain.  They didn't have a TV, so they went, with many other villagers, to the pub in the main square of this village called "El Alamo" (translation "poplar tree") because of the big, ancient tree that grew in the middle of the street.  When I visited the village of Miraflores with him in 1986 this is what the tree looked like.  It was during this visit that I first heard him tell me the story of watching the moon landing under this tree.  He told me that the TV was inside the pub and he watched the astronauts through the plate glass windows from the outside plaza.

1986, Miraflores main plaza under the Alamo tree

Several years later, when we returned to the village in 2010 we learned that the alamo tree had died and had been cut down.  However, new growth was emerging from the top of the stump, so we are hopeful that this landmark still exists! 



Another family story about July 20, 1969.  On that very day of the Apollo Moon Landing my first cousin was stationed in the Army in Mexico City.  He had to visit a local doctor due to "Montezuma's Revenge", and there was a very pretty receptionist. He ended up marrying her.  They have been married more than 45 years!

1970 Mexico


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "July 20, 1969 - Remember the Alamo?", Nutfield Genealogy, posted July 16, 2019,  ( https://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2019/07/july-16-1969-remember-alamo.html: accessed [access date]). 


  1. I love the idea of writing a story about historic days in history. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Great stories! And both family history twists on memories of an historic occasion.

  3. Two lovely stories linking family with world events. I was in Edinburgh sharing a flat with other girls and we stayed up to some unearthly hour to watch the moon landing and then went out in the garden to see the moon in the night sky. Some years ago I wrote to a blog prompt asking us to write about what we were doing at the time of major events - I chose both JFK’s assassination and 9/11.

  4. Oh, yes, I remember what I was doing the night of the moon landing. My brother and I went over to Harry Benoit's house next door to watch it on his big console color TV.

  5. Great Apollo story! My sister had a birthday party yesterday to commemorate a family reunion 50 years ago when my parents invited their extended families to watch the moon landing in their upstate New York back yard. It was my also sister’s fifth birthday, so she remembers the “big party” held that year — and celebrated the Apollo anniversary with a reunion of her extended family to keep the tradition going.

  6. I wasn't alive for the Apollo landing but I remember the Challenger explosion clearly.

    I'm from Texas so your title pulled me in, a little bait and switch but cool in the end. ;)

    1. Yes, I remember the Challenger explosion, too. I was at a teacher's meeting in Concord (where Christa McCaulliffe was a teacher) that same day. I'll never forget it!