The Charles Schultz Museum and Research Center has an Apollo exhibit right now. The end of January they had real astronauts come and speak. That event was full before I even found out about it, although there are rumors that they might come back in June, 2009,for another presentation. The exhibit itself, however, is wonderful. They have a one-third scale model of the lunar module, a space suit, and a Mission Control console area. One audio-visual display has conversations with astronauts and Mission Control staff talking about the various Apollo missions.
Schultz incorporated the space race into his strip with Snoopy’s imagined trips to the moon. NASA staff adopted the cartoon beagle as a mascot, in a way; not only were the first two lumar vessels nick-named Charlie Brown and Snoopy, but Snoopy became the official logo of the NASA safety program and they give out Silver Snoopy lapel pins to people who support NASA programs. It feels like one of those spontaneous things that is synergistic and patriotic, not manipulated, not cynical. Patriotic in the best way–pride in the best we can be.
Speaking of people who focus on the best we can be; thanks again to Karen and Brian Fies for introducing me to the Schultz Museum.
Go check out the exhibit!