My mom was alive during the time that the Soviets launched the first satellite, Sputnik. In fact, kids at the time would play a game throwing a ball of the house and yelling “SPUTNIK”.
My mom says that at the time the Americans felt like they were behind and we needed to go to the moon to catch up.
Everyone shut down to watch the moon landing. But it may not be watched by many if it does not get much press coverage. And we have more than 3 stations so harder to have it covered by all.
Back then there were limited TV stations: ABC, NBC, and “I don’t know what to see”, and limited newspapers: Houston Post and the Houston Chronicle
But now we are all living in our own information bubble.