This Week in Universal News: Apollo 1 Disaster

On January 27, 1967, the first Apollo mission ended in disaster. Fire broke out during a launch rehearsal, killing pilots Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chaffee.

From the release sheet:

ASTRONAUT DISASTER Apollo astronauts Roger Chaffee, Edward White, and Gus Grissom are all killed in a flash-fire aboard their grounded space capsule. Investigators theorize perhaps a short circuit or electrical overload sparked the blaze. The first Apollo flight was scheduled for February.

Watch the entire newsreel, featuring cryogenics in Arizona, a Chicago blizzard, and other stories here.

About the Universal Newsreel Collection at NARA:

The Universal Newsreel Collection is one of the most used motion picture collections at the National Archives and Records Administration. Universal Newsreels were shown in movie theaters twice a week, from 1929 until 1967, and covered a wide range of American life and history during that time period. Each release usually contained five to seven stories averaging two minutes in length.

In 1974, Universal deeded its edited newsreel and outtake collection to the United States through the National Archives (NARA), and did not place any copyright restrictions on its use (some stories may contain other underlying intellectual property or proprietary use rights).

While Universal disposed of many of the soundtracks, leaving the newsreels incomplete, supplementary material like scripts, shot lists, and event programs can be found in the production files, available for research at Archives II in College Park, Maryland.

Learn more about the Universal Newsreel Collection in this post and in this Prologue article. Watch other Universal Newsreels in our research room, in OPA, and on this playlist.

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