That same decade, the beloved cosmonauts venturing into the distant realm of space found contemporaries in others exploring the depths a bit closer to home. Jacque Cousteau became famous for his work in marine animals, publishing a book called "Dolphins" in 1975, which further cast international attention on the species and our place on Earth.
"The sea, the great unifier, is man's only hope. Now, as never before, the old phrase has a literal meaning: we are all in the same boat," Cousteau wrote.
Since then, research into dolphins and other cetaceans have only deepened our appreciation of them, seeded just a generation ago after decades of killing them. Dolphins, perhaps more than any other animal, reflect back a sense of ourselves we fear may have been lost in our strive for modernity -- again, at long last, a bit like sacred beings.
Today's dolphin hunts, like the one underway in Taiji cove, prove that this perspective is not yet universal -- though the momentum of human progress to better understand ourselves and the world around us surely makes it an inevitability, and a welcome one at that.