Saturday 17 August 2019

Hold the front page: Long night for Indo during moon landing 50 years ago

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin walks on the moon in July, 1969. Photo: Reuters
Astronaut Buzz Aldrin walks on the moon in July, 1969. Photo: Reuters
Kim Bielenberg

Kim Bielenberg

It was one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind - and one long night for staff of the Irish Independent.

When Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon 50 years ago, it was 4am in Ireland, a late hour for a morning paper to be covering events as they were happening.

Within a short time of the moonwalk, the old Independent building on Dublin's Middle Abbey Street rattled and trembled as the vast printing machines clattered out the first reports of the moonwalk. The paper held its front page so that readers could learn about the astronauts' endeavours the following morning.

The wire rooms in the Irish Independent were hubs of activity that night as the latest news came through from international agencies on a ticker tape machine.

Images of the Apollo 11 moonwalk arrived on the cylindrical wire photo machine, a vital piece of kit in newspapers of the time.

The paper produced a special colour front page for the historic event, and the editor had to plan this many days in advance.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News