1968 had been a difficult year for the United States, marred by protest marches, riots and assassinations. The mood was dark when, on Christmas Eve, hope arrived in the shape of this incredible photograph of the Earth rising, taken by the crew of Apollo 8, the first manned mission to the Moon.
In a live TV broadcast from the Moon’s orbit, the crew read a message to “All of you on the good Earth”, quoting the first ten verses of the Book of Genesis – “In the beginning God created the heaven and the Earth…”
Not everyone appreciated the sentiment. A lawsuit was brought against NASA over the use of Biblical verse on the grounds that American astronauts – as government employees – should be banned from publicly praying in space. The lawsuit was dropped.