Chicago Tribune from Chicago, Illinois on September 16, 1971 · 11
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Chicago Tribune from Chicago, Illinois · 11

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Chicago, Illinois
Issue Date:
Thursday, September 16, 1971
Page:
11
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Chicago Tribune, Thursday, September 1(5, 1971 -It 200,000 Welcome Astronauts Here (Picture on page 1) I BY SHEILA WOLFE J The admiration was extreme- J ly mutual yesterday between the City of Chicago and the three Apollo 15 astronauts. The warmth and enthusiasm of the noon parade in the Loop, the special City Council meeting and the civic luncheon obviously pleased Astronauts David R. Scott, Alfred M. Wor-den Jr. and James B. Irwin. They devoted most of their comments at the council meeting to praise for Chicago. Col. Scott, the mission commander, said this had been the warmest and most enthusiastic welcome he had ever seen. "The Word Is Out" "In all honesty," he said, "I am not surprised. I've traveled quite a little lately, and, believe me, the word is out . . . everybody knows about Chicago. "I can assure you the three of us will tell the rest of the country about this city." In presenting honorary citizenship medals to Scott, Irwin and Worden, Mayor Daley said the team symbolizes the talents, character, determination, aggressiveness and great integrity of the nation's men in the Armed Forces. In accepting his medal, Maj. Worden, who was the command module pilot on Apollo 15, noted that space flights now are launched off the Atlantic coast and suggested that they "ought to be launched off the coast of Lake Michigan." Worden commented that he "might just move to Chicago if your budget will allow." Receive Standing Ovations Astronaut Irwin, who was the lunar module pilot on the 12-day mission July 26 to Aug. 7, said the parade had been a great one and said be was proud to be an American who was able to stand on the moon and salute the American flag. "I would like to thank all of Chicago for giving us such a warm welcome," Lt. Col. Irwin said. The astronauts received a thunderous standing ovation from a packed council chamber at the beginning and end of their 20-minute appearance. The wives of Scott and Irwin were introduced to the audience by Worden, who is divorced. Mayor Daley introduced his daughter, Mrs. Mary Carol Vanecko, explaining "Ma Daley couldn't make it." It was the city's eighth astronaut welcome and, according to Col. Jack Ileilly, the city's director of special events, it was the second largest. Reilly ! said he had been with the , party since it arrived at O'Hare International Airport and was sure that at least 2CO,000 people were along the route from the airport and in the downtown area. Mrs. Vanecko was with her father, the mayor, at the air- i port when the astronauts arrived shortly after 11 a. m. aboard NASA 1, a twin-engine prop plane. Mayor Thanks Band The Wheeling High Schoool Band was on hand, and Daley, who arrived at the airport about 10 minutes before the astronauts, climbed a steplad-der to thank the band for being there. "I saw you with, great admiration at the Bears game Sunday. Music is a wonderful thing that draws people together. Thank you for being here," Daley said. The parade began shortly after noon at Wacker Drive and Wabash Avenue. The astronauts sat up on the top of the back seat of an open car while Mayor Daley sat below on a seat facing them. Dapper, Handsome Trio The crew of America's longest and costliest and most rewarding moon flight looked dapper and handsome. They began waving at the outset and kept waving thru the parade route in State, Adams and La Salle Streets, where it ended at the entrance to City Hall. After City Hall, the festivities moved to the Bismarck Hotel, were a civic luncheon was held. Musical selections were played by the Air Force's strolling band of violins. The three astronauts are Air Force officers. The astronauts presented Daley with a large color pho tograph of the moon and an American flag they had carried with them on the mission. Afie-the luncheon,, the astronauts conducted a briefing for Chicago and suburban high school students in the Sherman House. The astronauts will visit Children's Memorial Hospital today before leaving the city. M4 ;V High School Students Quiz Apollo Crew It was like a field trip to the Museum of Science and Industry and a discussion with your heroes all rolled into one. The museum display was the film taken by the Apollo 15 astronauts on their flight to the moon. And the heroes were the astronauts themselves, in person, David Scott, James Irwin and Alfred Worden. The three narrated the film and answered questions raised by 600 public and parochial high school students yesterday in the Sherman House. While the students have grown up in the space age and were reserved and perhaps less awed than their elders might be, they did show enough appreciation of the astronauts' feats to prove that to most Americans moon flights still are far from commonplace occurrences. Appreciate Humor The 30-minute color film, most of which was taken by the astronauts while in space and on the moon, met with a favorable reaction. But it was the astronauts themselves, interlacing humor, little-known facts and inside information about space flight, who created the greatest re sponse from the students. The students laughed in understanding sympathy when the liftoff of Apollo 15 from Cape Kennedy was shown and flight commander Scott said, "That's where I tried to get out." A low groan passed thru the crowd when Worden admitted that there were no plans in the flight program for a female astronaut. A girl had raised the question, which was applauded by nearly everyone, and Worden said he didn't want to answer it but would. A Bachelor Answers "They always make me han dle this question," he said. "I guess it's because I'm the only bachelor." The crowd fell silent when one youth asked the astronauts how much the equipment was worth that was left on the moon and how much pay they received for making the flight. But the tension was broken when Scott said: "Nothing that could be translated into dollars was left on the moon. We gained much knowledge for any expense. But that equipment is still working, and we may be able to use the moon rover again some time. Get Standard Pay "And as for our salary, we get standard U. S. military pay scale." His audience laughed when he added, "Plus $3.50 a day." At least some of the students, most of whom were honor students in science, were concerned with the more technical aspects of the flight. 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