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Cultural historian available to discuss moon landing anniversary

Monday, July 15, 2019

LAWRENCE — On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 became the first crewed mission to land on the surface of the moon. Considered one of mankind’s most historic achievements, the U.S. mission turned science fiction into reality. This Saturday marks the 50th anniversary of the momentous event.

David Farber, the Roy A. Roberts Distinguished Professor in the Department of History at the University of Kansas, is available to discuss this anniversary with media.

“The Apollo 11 mission united the nation — indeed much of the world — at a time of immense cultural and political polarization. For a few hours, at least, Americans watched as one with pride and awe as one of the ‘Great Dreams’ of the 1960s came true,” Farber said.

Farber earned his doctorate in American history at the University of Chicago. His research focuses on political culture, social change movements and capitalism in 20th-century U.S. history. He is the author of more than a dozen books, including “The Age of Great Dreams: America in the 1960s,” “The Sixties: From Memory to History” and “The Conservative Sixties” (with Jeff Roche).

Interestingly, Farber was on a family trip to Washington, D.C., when the Eagle landed July 20, 1969. It’s also where the MLB All-Star Game was taking place that week.

“I spent much of the time prior to the moon landing getting autographs from the players in the bar at the Shoreham Hotel, as they, too, were gathered around a television, drinking and watching the moon landing unfold,” Farber said. “Bob Gibson, the great St. Louis Cardinals pitcher, told me to get up to the room with my parents to watch history being made.”

To schedule an interview, contact Jon Niccum at 785-864-7633 or jniccum@ku.edu.