Happy Birthday, Telstar! 50 years ago, information went global

Watch black and white footage of the first ever transatlantic telecast - beamed by inaugural satellite Telstar - as President Kennedy salutes 'the extraordinary world in which we live.'
Written by Mark Halper, Contributor

NASA has a nice tribute on its website commemorating this week's 50th anniversary of Telstar, the world's first information satellite.

On July 23, 1962, the freshly lofted Telstar picked up President John F. Kennedy's press conference and beamed it to Europe. We take things like that for granted today. But back then, as JFK says in the black and white footage below, it was "another indication of the extraordinary world in which we live."

Before Kennedy speaks, newsreel narrator Ed Herlihy proclaims with fanfare and with the political correctness of another era, "History is about to be made in the science of communication among men." Have a look:

JFK goes on to say that such technological advances would help bring world peace. Technology sure has reached even more "extraordinary" heights since Bell Telephone Laboratories built the early bird. Still waiting for the peace. That's a tougher call.

Photo of Telstar from Bell Labs via NASA. Video from YouTube.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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