On this day in history - July 23rd, 1962 - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

On this day in history - July 23rd, 1962

Telstar 1 Telstar 1
Walter Cronkite in 1963 Walter Cronkite in 1963
HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) -

On this day in history - July 23rd, 1962 - Walter Cronkite gives the first public transatlantic television broadcast.

Telstar 1, launched by NASA from a Delta rocket, made the broadcast possible. Unlike today's satellites, which have geostationary orbits, Telstar 1 was placed in elliptical orbit. This made Telstar 1 difficult to track and it only provided a small window for transmission.

Chet Huntley from NBC joined Cronkite on the anchor desk in New York, along with the BBC's Richard Dimbelby in Brussels, Belgium. The first things viewers saw on international television were the Statue of Liberty and the Eiffel Tower. Even John F. Kennedy was set to speak live, but he was replaced by live footage from a baseball game, not appearing until the end of the broadcast in a taped segment.

Telstar 1's predecessors are a fixture of commercial satellite broadcasts today.

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