January 27, 1967 Apollo I

This is a day I remember vividly. I was waiting for a good friend, Helene Liebe, to pick me up to go to a dance at the College of St. Thomas in St. Paul. [now University of St. Thomas.] My parents’ had company, their good friends Don and Patty Sheehan. We just stared at the TV screen as the story of a horrible tragedy played out. Astronauts Gus Grissom, Edward White and Roger Chaffee perished in a fire during a test of the Apollo I spacecraft at the Kennedy Space Center. Smoke was first noticed at 6:31 p.m. At age 19, I imagine the whole impact did not hit me immediately. But, I recall the events of that evening clearly as if they occurred yesterday.

© 2009, Paula Stuart-Warren. All rights reserved.

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