On Friday, January 27, 1967, the National Aeronautics and Space Agency engaged in yet another step on its long journey of meeting late President John F. Kennedy’s goal announced six years earlier of landing a man on the moon before the end of the decade.
On that day, three American astronauts participated in simulated countdown of the Apollo spacecraft at the Kennedy Space Center’s Pad 34. At one o’clock in the afternoon astronauts Roger Chaffee, a rookie and the youngest person ever selected to join the astronaut corps; Ed White, the first American to walk in space; and Hoosier native Gus Grissom, the first American to fly in space twice; entered the Apollo command module, built by North American Aviation. They never made it out alive.
The tragic events of the Apollo 1 disaster will be explored in my talk "Tragedy at Pad 34: Gus Grissom and the Apollo 1Fire," to be given at 10 a.m. on Thursday, June 12, at the Highland Branch of the Lake County Public Library, 2841 Jewett St., in Highland, Indiana.
In addition to talking about the fire that took the life of the three American astronauts, I will be autographing copies of my biography of Grissom, born and raised in Mitchell, Indiana. The book was the second volume in the Indiana Historical Society Press's Indiana Biography Series.
For more information on the program, contact the Highland library branch by calling