Standing by a part of the Apollo 8 spacecraft he once rode, retired astronaut James Lovell on Monday read the 1968 Christmastime broadcast from the day he and two others became the first humans to orbit the moon.

Lovell marked the 45th anniversary of the orbit and the famous broadcast a day early at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry.

Millions tuned in on Dec. 24, 1968, when Frank Borman, Bill Anders, and Lovell circled the moon. A television camera on board took footage of the surface as the astronauts read Bible verses on the creation of Earth. They circled 10 times and began reading from the Book of Genesis on the last orbit. "It's a foundation of Christianity, Judaism, and Islam," Lovell said of Genesis.

On Monday, high school students, a parent, and Lovell, 85, each read a few verses. Gov. Pat Quinn hosted the event, calling the broadcast an uplifting message that is still applicable today. - AP