Splashdown to History: Local man helped bring Apollo 8 home

LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - 1968 - it was one of the most turbulent years in American history. The year got a rough start in January when North Korea captured the U.S.S. Pueblo, and North Vietnam launched the Tet Offensive, Martin Luther King Jr.'s assassination in April and Robert F. Kennedy's in June...these events would stun a nation.

Civil unrest would continue to rock the country.

By the time December rolled around America needed some good news...

And it came just in time. when Apollo 8 became the first manned spacecraft to orbit the moon.

The U.S.S. Yorktown successfully picked the crew up after splashdown. and a young man from Michigan was there.

He was a 23-year-old radar technician and one of the first to see the spacecraft's tiny blip on his instruments.

Eric Peasley remembers.." after all of this country went through in 1968, a lady sent a telegram to NASA saying thank you for saving the year."

He has cherished that day for almost half a century. While the memorabilia he has collected may be fading, the events of that day have not.