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Revisiting the heart-stopping moments before Apollo 11 landed on the moon with the world watching

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ABC News(NEW YORK) — Fifty years ago this week, the Apollo 11 astronauts — Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins — suited up as America waited with bated breath: would the trio be the first Americans to set foot on the moon?

It was a grand, new goal that was first set by President John F. Kennedy.

“I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal before this decade is out of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the Earth,” he said in May 1961.

Astronauts who were preparing for the U.S. first lunar mission followed a complex training program. There were simulations. They walked in their spacesuits. They completed tests in the water.

Americans counted the days — with so many questions about the mission — as did NASA. And then it was time.

On July 16, 1969, families across the U.S. gathered in their living rooms — and hundreds of millions around the world — watched as the Apollo 11 lifted off into space.

After traveling 240,000 miles in 76 hours, Apollo 11 entered in a lunar orbit. The next day, the lunar module Eagle, with Armstrong and Aldrin inside, separated from the command module where Collins remained.

Hours later, the Eagle began its descent to the moon. But then, there was an alarm.

“12-02. Standby,” Mission Control could be heard saying.

Mission Control at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston housed the engineers and flight directors who worked tirelessly to ensure Apollo 11’s mission was a success.

A “12-02” alarm meant that the lunar module’s computer was overloaded. If the problem could not be corrected, the landing would need to be aborted.

“Give us a reading on the 12-02 program alarm,” Armstrong could be heard saying.

The control room responded with silence.

They would continue with the mission.

Armstrong flew the lunar module manually, evading boulders in their planned landing location. With the fuel running critically low, Apollo flight director Gene Kranz, back in Mission Control, gave a 60-seconds-to-abort warning.

Critical minutes passed and then Armstrong could be heard saying: “The Eagle has landed.”

“Roger, Tranquility. We copy you on the ground. You’ve got a bunch of guys about to turn blue. We’re breathing again. Thanks a lot,” Mission Control could be heard responding.

“Thank you,” Aldrin said.

Then, there was the sound of applause in Apollo Mission Control in Houston as some wiped away tears.

Armstrong bounded across the moon’s surface on July 20, 1969. From the moon, he said those famous words: “That’s one small step for man. One giant leap for mankind.”

Nineteen minutes later, it was Aldrin’s turn to take his first steps.

“Beautiful view!” he said.

President Richard Nixon spoke to Aldrin and Armstrong while they were in space, telling them: “I just can’t tell you how proud we all are.”

Yet, back in Apollo Mission Control in Houston, after the cheering and the tears, they knew they had a lot of work still left to do as they guided the men back home.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Security guard pleads not guilty after pulling gun on Ohio sheriff's deputy in IRS office

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iStock(TOLEDO, Ohio) — A security guard at an IRS office in Toledo, Ohio, pleaded not guilty Monday to charges stemming from an incident in which he allegedly pulled a gun on a sheriff’s deputy in full uniform who refused orders leave his service weapon in his car.

The security guard, Seth Eklund, 33, entered his plea in Lucus County Common Pleas Court to one count of aggravated menacing stemming from the encounter with Lucas County Sheriff’s Deputy Alan Gaston.

The episode unfolded on May 31 when Gaston went to the IRS office in Toledo to ask a question about a letter he received from the agency, he told ABC affiliate station WTVG-TV.

Instead of getting an answer, Gaston got an order from Eklund to leave his gun in his car, Gaston refused.

“There’s really no way to know how you’re going to act when there’s a gun pointed at you and when you think you’re going to lose your life,” Gaston told WTVG.

The incident was captured on surveillance video and shows Gaston in full uniform and badge with his weapon holstered at his side.

Gaston, who is a defensive tactics instructor, said that when he told Eklund he couldn’t take his gun back to his car, he said the security guard pulled his own handgun and aimed it at him.

The security video shows Gaston turning and walking away from Eklund, who followed the deputy pointing a gun at his back. The footage shows Eklund following Gaston to an elevator and blocking the elevator doors from closing.

At one point, according to Gaston and the video, Eklund attempted to place the deputy into custody.

Gaston said he vividly remembered the encounter, saying he was “bracing for a shot in my back.”

Eklund could not be reached for comment. It is unclear if he has retained an attorney.

Toledo police were called to the scene to investigate the disturbance, but the unidentified 911 caller never told a dispatcher that the incident involved a sheriff’s deputy in uniform.

Gaston said he attempted to de-escalate the situation because he feared for the safety of people at the office.

“If I’m going to get shot, like I thought I was, it’s not fair,” Gaston said.

Gaston, who is on medical leave from the sheriff’s office and his wife, filed a civil lawsuit against Eklund and the security company he works for; alleging emotional and psychological distress and lost wages.

Asked if he had a message for Eklund, Gaston said, “I would say, ‘Clearly your training is lacking and the fact that you went from 0 to 100, lethal force is unacceptable.'”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Two women at a Burger King tell manager to 'go back to Mexico'

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Justin Sullivan/Getty Images(EUSTIS, Fla.) — The video of a heated exchange between a Burger King manager and two white customers who told him to “go back to Mexico” has gone viral.

Neyzha Borrero of Eustis, Florida, was grabbing a bite to eat at a local Burger King with her boyfriend earlier this month when she overheard two women say they were offended after they overheard the Burger King manager, Ricardo “Ricky” Castillo, speak to one of his employees in Spanish. That’s when Borrero started filming.

In the video, one of the women can be heard telling Castillo, “You’re being very rude,” after hearing him speak Spanish.

“No, you’re being rude by being prejudiced,” Castillo replies.

The conversation escalates when one of the women says, “This is America and our main language is English…Go speak your Mexican at home!”

“Guess what ma’am, I’m not Mexican,” Castillo responds. “You’re being very prejudiced and I want you out of my restaurant right now.”

Castillo then threatens to call the police after one of the women tells him to “go back to Mexico” if he wants to keep speaking Spanish.

“I was shocked and I didn’t know what to do,” Castillo told ABC News. “I wasn’t going to call the cops,” he admitted. “I was raised to respect my elders and I wasn’t going to do that to them.”

This past weekend, outrage erupted after a series of tweets from President Donald Trump seemingly aimed at progressive freshman Democratic congresswomen of color.

“Why don’t they go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came?” he wrote.

Trump’s comments were widely criticized by Democratic lawmakers, many of whom characterized his attacks as racist.

Many on social media have described the refrain “go back to your country” as a common attack against people of color in the U.S.

Last year, a Sikh man was attacked and told to go back to his country while he was putting up campaign signs near Turlock, California.

Castillo, who has worked as the general manager for the Burger King in Eustis for a year and a half, said he has never experienced anything like this, but added he isn’t surprised. He hopes the video serves as a lesson on how people should treat others.

“Everybody has their different opinions, nobody is the same,” said Castillo. “We’re all human beings and we deserve to be treated with respect.”

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Great white shark drags fishing boat around San Francisco Bay for 2 miles: 'Everybody was just amazed'

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iStock(SAN FRANCISCO) — A group of people sport fishing in the San Francisco Bay over the weekend got the shock of their life when a great white shark snagged their bait and dragged the boat around for two miles.

Joey Gamez, owner and captain of Golden State Sportfishing, told ABC News that he and six others set off Saturday morning with the intent of catching sevengill and soupfin sharks.

The boat was near the infamous Alcatraz Island around 11 a.m. when a line that Gamez cast began to pull. The experienced fisherman assumed he was fighting a large sevengill, so the group pulled the anchor up and let the fish pull the 26-foot boat around for a bit while they tried to reel it in, he said.

“Once we got it to the top, we realized what kind of fish it was,” Gamez said.

The shark dragged the boat for about an hour and two miles before Gamez carefully cut the line, he said.

Gamez estimated the shark to have measured somewhere between 6 to 8 feet.

“I really didn’t get a good look at it,” he said. “I was kind of worried about getting it off the hook.”

Video posted to Facebook shows a fisherman struggling with the fishing pole for several minutes before the group realized what they had snagged.

“First time I’ve had to pull an anchor on a shark,” Gamez said in the video. “…Not sure what it is, but it’s a big one.”

Minutes later, another fisherman took over to try and reel in the behemoth. Once the great white surfaced, they exclaimed in excitement before stating that they had to “let it go.”

The great white bobbed along the side of the boat for several seconds before Gamez cut the line and it swam away with the bait.

The 42-year-old said he has been fishing in the area since he was a “little kid” and has never seen a great white in the bay, he said, adding that the whole group was “stunned” at the catch.

“Everybody was just amazed,” Gamez said.

Last week, the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office issued an alert of great white sharks that were spotted nearby off the coast of Half Moon Bay, ABC San Francisco station KGO-AM reported.

Gamez went back out on the water on Sunday but did not spot any more great whites, he said.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

Brad Paisley admits he had bad, bad advice about Chris Lane's "Big, Big Plans"

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ABC/Image Group LA Chris Lane planned what he believed was the perfect proposal for his girlfriend Lauren Bushnell, writing and recording the song “Big, Big Plans” to play for her in her parents’ backyard on Father’s Day. But his current tour mate Brad Paisley didn’t think it was such a great idea.

“I had some friends on the [tour] bus, and they were all like, ‘That sounds pretty awesome,’” Brad tells People. “And I’m like, ‘Don’t do that.’” 

“I’m glad he didn’t listen to me, because it worked out great,” he adds.

When Brad proposed to his wife Kimberly Williams-Paisley more than sixteen years ago, he approached it very differently.

“I surprised her, and we were completely alone out on the end of a pier in Venice in Los Angeles,” he recalls. “Nobody could really see us, and that was a safety net — in case she took off running down the pier.”

Ultimately, Brad believes Chris will make a great husband.

“I don’t give a lot of marital advice to people,” Brad says, “other than a sense of humor is probably the key. And he’s great at that.”

“Chris is a nut,” he adds, “and getting to know him this year, I had no idea what a sort of free spirit, crazy guy he is. I think that kind of sense of humor will serve him well in his marriage.”

This weekend, Brad, Chris, and Riley Green continue their tour, with stops in Birmingham, Alabama; Indianapolis, Indiana; and Cincinnati, Ohio.

Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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