Fifty years ago tonight, at the time I'm writing, Apollo 17 was returning to Earth for landing in the Pacific Ocean on December 19th. Apollo 17 was carrying 243 pounds of lunar rocks and other samples along with her crew.
NASA maintains a set of webpages containing Apollo history, including images, videos and so on. They include this video called On the Shoulders of Giants.
It was the end of an era. I was 18, 6 weeks from 19, in my first semester of "discount knowledge from the junior college" in the words of country song I heard once. I grew up playing with models of the capsules they used, and reading NASA educational and public relations documents. I launched model rockets in the school yard. I followed everything I could find on TV, and we got our first color TV around the time of Apollo 11; just in time for black and white video from the moon.
Yeah, they were talking about Skylab coming soon, and there was already talk about what might come after the first tentative steps to a space station. Serious talk surrounded the waste of throwing rockets away after use, which fed into the Space Shuttle - which never made its more ambitious goals.
I didn't really take that seriously. We'd been to the moon, and there was talk about spreading out into the solar system. There would be a permanent colony on the moon by the 1990s along with tentative steps to Mars and beyond. Instead, well, it was the end of an era.