Special guests who were invited to watch the launches of the Apollo program from a special viewing area were issued passes. These lucky few were entitled to be at a spot that was as close to the launch as one could safely get. I have a launch viewing pass from each Apollo mission in my collection.
With Apollo 13 on April 11, 1970, Saturn V launches became almost routine. Nobody who witnessed the liftoff that day could have anticipated the drama that would soon unfold.