Apollo 12, the second manned mission to the surface of the moon, is launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, with astronauts Charles Conrad, Jr.; Richard F. Gordon, Jr.; and Alan L. Bean aboard. President Richard Nixon viewed the liftoff from Pad A at Cape Canaveral. He was the first president to attend the liftoff of a manned space flight.
On 19th November, the landing module Intrepid made a precision landing on the northwest rim of the moon’s Ocean of Storms. About five hours later, astronauts Conrad and Bean became the third and fourth humans to walk on the surface of the moon.
During the next 32 hours, the two astronauts made two lunar walks, where they collected lunar samples and investigated the Surveyor 3 spacecraft, an unmanned U.S. probe that soft-landed on the moon in 1967. On 24th November, Apollo 12 successfully returned to Earth, splashing down only three miles from one of its retrieval ships, the USS Hornet.
Also on this Day
The city of Gdansk, birthplace of Poland's historic shipyard strike, celebrates the homecoming of Solidarity leader Lech Walesa on November 14, 1982. Walesa, Poland's champion of trade unionism, was imprisoned in 1981 as part of communist leader Wojciech Jaruzelski's crackdown on the Solidarity movement, but supporters called for the middle-aged electrician's release in street demonstrations, u... Read more >
Pop star Michael Jackson marries his second wife, Deborah Rowe. The couple had two children before divorcing in 1999. Jackson was born in 1958 in Gary, Indiana. As a young boy, he began performing with his four brothers in the pop group the Jackson 5. The group scored its first No. 1 single in 1969, with "I Want You Back." By age 11, Jackson was appearing on TV, and by age 14 he had released hi... Read more >
On this day, Harper Brothers in New York publishes Moby-Dick, by Herman Melville. The book flopped, and it was many years before the book was recognized as an American classic. Melville was born in New York City in 1819. A childhood bout of scarlet fever left him with weakened eyes. At age 19, he became a cabin boy on a ship bound for Liverpool. He later sailed to the South Seas on a whaler, th... Read more >