Forty years ago today, some guys landed on the moon and walked around, and there were thousands of money-making newspapers on hand to chronicle it. They used words like "spacemen" and drew nifty mod-looking illustrations. Here's a front-page gallery.

These are taken from the Newseum's exhibit of historic front pages. What's striking is the excited jingo-ism of some reports—it was Americans walking on the moon, dammit, as far as Col. McCormick's Chicago Tribune was concerned—and the clinical just-the-facts recitation of others. The New York Times' lyrical headline: "MEN WALK ON MOON; ASTRONAUTS LAND ON PLAIN; COLLECT ROCKS, PLANT FLAG." That sure captured the thrill of the moment. A subhed got so overheated that the passive voice had to be called in to cool things down: "A powdery surface is closely explored." The nearby Camden, N.J., Courier-Post did a much better job: "WE SHINE ON THE MOON."

Also fascinating are the illustrations some newspapers preferred to the grainy television stills that were available of the landing. They were comic-book style renderings that look like they belong in children's books.

In other news on July 20, 1969—police in Massachusetts were preparing charges against Ted Kennedy for leaving the scene of an accident on Chappaquiddick Island two days prior in which Mary Jo Kopechne drowned. That one only made the front page of the Columbus Evening Dispatch. He was like the Mark Sanford of his generation.

When We Walked on the Moon, and When Newspapers Mattered

New York Times

When We Walked on the Moon, and When Newspapers Mattered

Los Angeles Herald-Examiner

When We Walked on the Moon, and When Newspapers Mattered

New York Daily News

When We Walked on the Moon, and When Newspapers Mattered

Los Angeles Times

When We Walked on the Moon, and When Newspapers Mattered

Chicago Tribune

When We Walked on the Moon, and When Newspapers Mattered

Tampa Tribune

When We Walked on the Moon, and When Newspapers Mattered

Pottstown (Penn.) Mercury

When We Walked on the Moon, and When Newspapers Mattered

Camden, N.J., Courier-Post

When We Walked on the Moon, and When Newspapers Mattered

Memphis, Tenn., Commercial Appeal

When We Walked on the Moon, and When Newspapers Mattered

Melbourne, Fla., Today

When We Walked on the Moon, and When Newspapers Mattered

Pittsburgh Press

When We Walked on the Moon, and When Newspapers Mattered

Eugene Register-Guard

When We Walked on the Moon, and When Newspapers Mattered

Seattle Post-Intelligencer

When We Walked on the Moon, and When Newspapers Mattered

Columbus Evening Dispatch

When We Walked on the Moon, and When Newspapers Mattered

Montreal Matin

When We Walked on the Moon, and When Newspapers Mattered

Saint John, Canada, Telegraph-Journal

When We Walked on the Moon, and When Newspapers Mattered

Tehran, Iran, Kahyan

When We Walked on the Moon, and When Newspapers Mattered

The Onion