James Lovell and Tom Hanks
A two-fer, rare in Club luncheons, brought dual speakers
to the podium on July 26, 1995: Cdr. James Lovell, skipper
of the Apollo 13 spacecraft, and Tom Hanks, skipper of
the cinematic "Apollo 13". The capacity audience heard
Lovell urge continued funding for NASA so that robotic
exploration and space station activities go on. He gave
a moving account of how insignificant he felt when his
upheld thumb obscured his view of the earth from his
spacecraft. On the other hand, he was amused at having
a BLT cheeseburger named "Apollo 13". Tom Hanks disclosed
that as a 13-year old in Oakland he was "inspired by the
space program" and wanted such movie roles as a cowboy,
soldier, baseball player and astronaut. He likened "Apollo
13" to a Greek myth but added that it was "unbelievably true."
Hanks made one less than comic prediction: There would be
no sequel to "Forrest Gump".
National Press Club Record, Volume XLV, No. 29.
August 10, 1995.
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