Today (May 5, 2010) is the 49th anniversary of Alan Shepard's 15-minute space flight - the first space flight by an American.
At 10:34 a.m. Eastern Daylight time on May 5, 1961, Alan Shepard was the first American launched into space. The story was front-page news in the New York Times, and probably every other paper in the land. Check out the NYT front page story.
The New York Times Historical Backfile is the place to go to find historical articles like this. If you know the date of an historical event, look for the next day's paper to see the headline. After you've found an article, use Page Map to see what the full page looked like. From there you can move through the paper page by page. Click on an article from the full page view to read individual articles. [Denver Public Library card required.]
Let's take a moment to reflect on how far we've come since that first space flight exactly 49 years ago.