July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Edwin (Buzz) Aldrin walked on the moon. The world watched on TV but turned to newspapers for the full story of the moonwalk

A Moon­walk today would be spec­tac­u­lar on tele­vi­sion but in 1969 the images were grainy and indis­tinct. The world relied on news­pa­pers to tell the full story.

Banner headlines proclaimed the Moonwalk in newspapers around the world including the Toronto Daily Star and The Telegram, long-time evening newspaper competitors in Canada’s largest city

The Telegram devot­ed 13 of its 56 pages to the sto­ry; the Toron­to Star report­ed the event on sev­en of its 64 pages.

The astro­nauts were on the lunar sur­face for more than 2 hours. News­pa­pers pub­lished almost every word of the con­ver­sa­tions between the astro­nauts and the Mis­sion Con­trol Cen­tre of NASA, Nation­al Aero­nau­tics and Space Admin­is­tra­tion, in Hous­ton, Texas, begin­ning as Neil Arm­strong made the dif­fi­cult exit from the Eagle.   It reads like a stage play or a movie script.

News­pa­per pho­tog­ra­phers shot the tele­vi­sion images of the moment when Arm­strong took that “one small step for man”. The pho­tographs were only as good as the screen-shots—grainy, out of focus and the colours were washed out. And print­ing qual­i­ty those days was very poor but great jour­nal­ism took news­pa­per read­ers to the moon.

The trio of astronauts famouse for the moonwalk in 1969

Newspaper headlines from the Toronto Star and the Telegram

“Tranquillity base here, the Eagle has landed”

“For one priceless moment, the world was truly one.”

“The step by step trip to anoth­er world”
“A night to for­get every­day things”
“Armstrong’s heart­beat raced”
“Applause from kings and com­mon­ers”
“His mom and dad ‘just thanked God’”
“Wives could hard­ly believe their eyes”
“Chris Kraft…the man who runs the show”
“ Two back in cap­sule ready to go”
“ This is the cam­era that took you there”
“After this lunar land­ing what next”

Fifty years later on the anniversary of the moonwalk, samples of the world-wide  banner headlines were re-published online HERE and on many other websites—print media has been displaced by the Internet.