Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Junior Scholastic (March 28, 1958) "Dawn of the Space Age"

As I have blogged before, "Space in school" is one of my many interests. Junior Scholastic was a weekly newspaper aimed at older children. It shared what was going on in the world along with commentary, editorials, and jokes.

"Dawn of the Space Age" was a special section in the March 28th issue. It was a 25 page section reusing images from the Collier's series and the Disney space films.

As a result of the space race, manned space flight had to be digested and presented to children. A standard presentation included space history.

Robert Goddard was a newly resurrected American hero. Even though there was not very much coverage of him in the history books, the existence of the "inventor of rockets" being an American became part of our modern mythology.

Wernher von Braun was our second American space hero. Even though he had a long history in rocket research, the fact that he had once worked for our enemies was "tailored" in our celebration of the technological innovations he brought the United States.
Another part of the new mythology was telling children what their place was going to be in this new world. Here is the first page of a General Electric editorial (within this special section) telling children to study science and work hard.

There was almost always a series of questions about space flight such as "Why does a rocket work in space?" and "How much would you weigh on "X?".

You would also find many of the same authors writing explanations of aspects of space flight. Roy Gallant and Willy Ley were two of the more common ones.

Space was presented as the new frontier we were preparing to conquer. Like many other technological challenges of the time the time until we "won" was projected to be in the very near future. We would be figuring out manned flight and then move quickly on to a "city in the sky" ....................

Conquering the moon........

And on to the planets.......

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