Good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas — and God bless all of you.
The year 1968 was a difficult one for the U.S. The war in Vietnam still raged — with no end in sight. At home, Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy were tragically felled by assassins’ bullets. Nixon won a very close and hotly disputed presidential race by what turned out to be unethical means. The country was heavily divided. The Apollo 8 astronauts provided the only real good news in that troubled year — flawlessly executing the first manned, lunar orbital mission in history. On December 24, 1968, the three Apollo astronauts read from the Book of Genesis to the Earth from lunar orbit closing with: “And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas — and God bless all of you, all of you on the good Earth.”