Apollo 11 - This Week in History
Tomorrow is the 44th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing. On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to walk on the moon.
Soon after their historic steps, they received a phone call from President Nixon in the Oval Office. To celebrate the occasion, we’re teaming up with the NASA History Office to tweet out the lunar call between the President and astronauts.
Photo: Edwin E. (Buzz) Aldrin, Jr. standing on the moon next to the U.S. flag, 7/20/1969.
"IN EVENT OF MOON DISASTER"
For the Apollo 11 space flight, President Nixon’s speechwriter William Safire composed this statement on July 18, 1969. It was to be used in the event the astronauts were stranded on the Moon and could not return to Earth.
Neil Armstrong later said, “The unknowns were rampant” and “there were just a thousand things to worry about.”
Fortunately, the speech as was never used, and this Saturday will be the 44th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing. After astronauts Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon, President Nixon phoned them for “an interplanetary conversation.”
On July 20, The Presidential Libraries and NASA’s History Office are celebrating the Apollo 11 anniversary by tweeting out the lunar phone call between the President and astronauts. We’ll be tweeting from @OurPresidents and @NASAHistory.
Join us Saturday at noon by following #LunarCall on Twitter!
Countdown to the space program — Never Used Apollo 11 Disaster Plan
This confidential White House memo summarizes the “rain plan” that was prepared in the event that the Apollo 11 mission ended in disaster.
-from the Nixon Library
Countdown to the space program — Neil Armstrong
Mission Commander Neil Armstrong inside the Apollo 11 Lunar Module. July 21, 1969.
Countdown to the space program — Apollo 11 Moonwalk
Apollo 11 astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, walking on the surface of the moon.
Countdown to the space program — Dinner with the President
Invitation from the White House for an August 13, 1969 dinner honoring the Apollo 11 Astronauts.
-from the Nixon Library
Countdown to the space program — Apollo 11 Bootprint
One of the first steps taken on the moon, this is an image of Buzz Aldrin’s bootprint from the Apollo 11 mission. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the Moon on July 20, 1969. Photo Credit: NASA
Space Food, Brownies, Apollo 11
Tomorrow is Space Day at the National Air and Space Museum! The Presidential Libraries of the National Archives will be there hosting a Mission Checklist hunt.
If you are in Washington D.C., come by to accept your mission and search for Apollo items at the National Archives and the Air and Space Museum.
Among your necessities: compressed brownies sealed in 4-ply laminate.
Learn more about space food from the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Photo courtesy of the National Air and Space Museum.
More — Nixon and the Apollo Program
On July 20, 1969, President Richard Nixon used this green telephone in the Oval Office to talk to the Apollo 11 astronauts while they were on the surface of the moon.
Now you can see this same phone on display in the National Archives in Washington, D.C. This morning at 11 a.m., we will host a ribbon cutting ceremony to officially open the display “Nixon and the U.S. Space Program,” which will feature rarely seen documents, photographs, and artifacts that represent milestones in manned spaceflight during President Nixon’s administration.
It’s also the 100th anniversary of the birth of Richard Nixon. Stop by during this centennial year and learn about Nixon’s support for the lunar program and his efforts to improve Cold War relations through a cooperative space exploration program.
The telephone is part of the holdings of the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum.
"In Event of Moon Disaster", July 18, 1969.
White House speechwriter, William Safire, was asked to write a speech that President Nixon would make in case the Apollo 11 astronauts were stranded on the Moon.
It was never delivered, and this speech was quietly tucked away into Nixon’s records.
Source: Nixon Library