Christmas Day, 1975 began on Earth much like any other Christmas. Thousands of pilgrims crowded Manger Square in Bethlehem under the watchful eyes of Israeli soldiers. The Pope gave a midnight homily from the balcony overlooking St. Peter's Square. In North America, children bounced excitedly from their beds to discover what treasures awaited them under the tree. Families and friends gathered in church and at Christmas dinners.
This Christmas was to be the first Christmas celebrated on the surface of the Moon.