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Welcome to the Paleofuture blog, where we explore past visions of the future. From flying cars and jetpacks to utopias and dystopias.

Honeymoon on the Moon

Honeymoon on the Moon

Where were newlyweds supposed to honeymoon in the future? The moon, of course.

Honeymoons on the moon show up in popular culture throughout the 1950s and 60s, in everything from songs to comic strips. The June 1, 1958 edition of the Sunday comic strip "Closer Than We Think" by Arthur Radebaugh claimed that it would be the new default destination for lovebirds, replacing the cliched honeymoon spot, Niagara Falls:

Scenic spots on the moon, in years ahead, may become honeymoon havens, like Niagara Falls today. Newly wedded couples will be able to fly to a low-cost lunar holiday in a space craft propelled by thermo-nuclear energy. Space expert Wernher von Braun foresees pressurized, air-conditioned excursion hotels and small cottages on the moon. Couples could dance gaily there, whirling high in the air due to reduced gravity pull, and look out on a strange, spectacular scenery — part of which would be a spaceman's view of the familiar outlines of the continents of the earth.

Father Andrzejewski, a priest in a small Wisconsin town, spoke to a group of Girl Scouts in 1962 about the 50th anniversary of the Scouts organization and said, "What looked difficult 50 years ago, is now commonplace, and only these last few weeks do we realize that perhaps one of the Brownies here today might spend her honeymoon on the moon."

Father Andrzejewski's reference to "these last few weeks" was about John Glenn who, on February 20, 1962, became the first American to orbit the earth. With each new advance made in space, it seemed ever more inevitable that average citizens would soon be visiting the moon — even for their honeymoon.

The October 21, 1966 Sandusky Register in Ohio ran a short piece in the Opinion section about honeymoons on the moon, with an admittedly odd kicker:

Young ladies who expect the moon when they get married may one day have their wish. Astronomer Fred Whipple predicts that in the not too distant future trips to the moon will replace the traditional journey to Niagara Falls.

Just how soon is anybody's guess. Dr. Eugene Konneci of the National Aeronautics and Space Council thinks spaceships might be book passengers around the year 2001. But he says ticket prices will probably be figured according to the traveler's weight — at about $10 a pound.

If so, that old 20th century saying that nobody loves a fat girl will be even truer in the 21st. At least, those who do will think twice before proposing a honeymoon on the moon.

In 1964 the comic strip "Dick Tracy" had a young couple visit the moon for their honeymoon.

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Though newlyweds aren't rocketing off to the moon just yet, we continue to see private space tourism as a promise that awaits us just around the corner.

This article originally appeared at Smithsonian magazine.

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