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.