1969 was a year of groundbreaking change in the United States: not only was it the year of the moon landing and Woodstock, but it was also the year of the Stonewall riots and anti-war protests, a time when young people looked around and saw the sorry state of world affairs and decided they needed to do something about it. A new, six-part ABC docuseries, 1969 tells the story of this extraordinary year, and it kicks off with the untold story of perhaps one of the most formative events of the 20th century: the moon landing.
Most of us know the major details about the July 1969 landing, when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin made history by becoming the first men to walk on the surface of the moon. Yet the first episode of 1969 tells the story of the people who worked behind the scenes to make it happen, such as NASA mathematicians Christine Darden and Katherine Johnson (who was played by Taraji P. Henson in the 2016 film Hidden Figures), NASA software engineers Margaret Hamilton and Christine Darden, as well as astronaut Michael Collins and NASA officials Charlie Duke and Gerry Griffin, who were assigned to help manage the team from Mission Control. The episode features interviews with the major players behind-the-scenes during the moon landing (which very nearly wasn’t televised!), who discuss the steps leading up to the historic mission.
1969 premieres on Tuesday, Apr. 23, at 10:00 p.m. on ABC.