26% Of People Wish They Lived Through This Major Event In US History

Living through a global pandemic is stressful. We need to be super vigilant doing even the most basic things, like going to the grocery store, avoiding face-touching, and, of course, washing our hands. The idea of living in a different time — perhaps one when the only people wearing surgical masks were healthcare professionals — is, to say the least, appealing. Grunge wondered what major event in US history Americans were wishing they had been around to witness, and took a survey. Spoiler alert: the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic did not chart.

Out of 518 respondents, 26.64 percent said they wished that they had lived through the moon landing on July 20, 1969. And who could blame them? What a time to be alive. Today, where almost nothing surprises us anymore, it's fun to think about a more innocent time when wonder ruled.

In an article in The Guardian, Edwin Green of Knoxville, TN, recalled: "I remember my mother gasping aloud 'That was perfect!', through her tears of joy and excitement after he made that famous 'That's one small step for a man...' statement. I remember my grandfather screaming with excitement: 'Do you believe what we just saw? My lord, can you believe it?' As a young man, he had witnessed Glenn Curtis fly the first airplane over New York and now he'd watched men walk on the moon."

'I can't see Apollo 11 take off now without crying'

The optimism inspired by Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins was not just American; people all around the world felt it. Again, via The Guardian, Janet Whittaker in Gloucestershire, England, said, "I can't see Apollo 11 take off now without crying, as it was such an amazing event — but also to me meant freedom and that anything was possible. It was wonderful to be able to lose myself in such an awe-inspiring and beautiful other world."

The year 1969 was definitely not all rosy: Americans were deeply divided over the Vietnam War, the Manson family murdered people, and a free Rolling Stones concert turned deadly (per History.com). But, in addition to the moon landing, there was also the musical revolution of Woodstock, and the gay rights movement started in earnest, writes Britannica, at the Stonewall Riots. What a roller coaster of a year!

Other respondents were less enthusiastic about being plunked back in time to live through World War II (7.53 percent), the Civil War (8.88 percent), and the Revolutionary War (9.65 percent).

However, the era that actually won this survey, with even more people wanting to live through it than the moon landing, was the Roaring Twenties, at a whopping 39.77 percent. Even though Prohibition was a thing then, if you were an adorable, sassy flapper, you could almost always find your way to a speakeasy and the top shelf libations in the coolest of style.