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.
As he exited the Apollo Lunar Module on July 20th of 1969, ready to set foot on the Moon, Neil Armstrong’s immediate safety was in the hands of an incredible feat of engineering that is often overlooked: his A7L Spacesuit and backpack. Built at Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center by ILC Dover and Hamilton Standard, respectively, this early Extravehicular Mobility Unit (EMU) was required to provide, amongst other things, the following: a safe internal pressure; breathable oxygen; a regulated temperature; shielding from radiation; protection from micrometeorites, and a communications system. In addition, the suit’s eleven layers needed to provide ample levels of comfort and mobility so as to make it usable.
Below, a letter from Armstrong to the ‘EMU gang’, written in 1994 to mark the 25th anniversary of the Moon landing, in which he thanks them sincerely for their highly important work on what he calls his ‘spacecraft’.NEIL A. ARMSTRONG
P.O. BOX 436
LEBANON, OH 45036
July 14, 1994
The EMU gang at
Johnson Space Center
Houston, TX 77058
To the EMU gang:
I remember noting a quarter century or so ago that an emu was a 6 foot Australian flightless bird. I thought that got most of it right.
It turned out to be one of the most widely photographed spacecraft in history. That was no doubt due to the fact that it was so photogenic. Equally responsible for its success was its characteristic of hiding from view its ugly occupant.
Its true beauty, however, was that it worked. It was tough, reliable and almost cuddly.
To all of you who made it all that it was, I send a quarter century’s worth of thanks and congratulations.
Neil A. Armstrong
“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for all mankind.”
-Astronaut Neil Armstrong’s words as he made his first step onto the surface of the Moon, July 20, 1969
Image: Buzz Aldrin on the Moon next to the U.S. Flag
Happy Leap Day!
“Neil and Buzz, I am talking to you by telephone from the Oval Room at the White House. And this certainly has to be the most historic telephone call ever made.”
-President Richard Nixon speaking with astronauts on the moon. July 20, 1969
White House Super 8 movies and sound recordings are mixed together in this short video that captures the earth-to-moon phone call between Nixon, Aldrin, and Armstrong.
-created by the Nixon Library archival team
The Eagle Has Landed - 1969
“The surface is fine and powdery. I can - I can pick it up loosely with my toe. It does adhere in fine layers like powdered charcoal to the sole and sides of my boots. I only go in a small fraction of an inch. Maybe an eight of an inch, but I can see the footprints of my boots and the treads in the find sandy particle.”
-Neil Armstrong speaking from the surface of the moon
This NASA video from 1969 gives an “eye-witness” perspective of the Apollo 11 mission that put men on the moon. More about the moon landing and the activities surrounding Apollo’s mission here.
-via The National Archives, Nixon Administration
Moonshot Mondays: Apollo 11 First Manned Mission to the Surface of the Moon
This past Saturday marked the anniversary that Apollo 11 launched into space on it’s historic flight to the moon. On July 16, 1969, at the invitation of President Richard Nixon, Former President Johnson and Lady Bird Johnson watched the launch of Apollo 11 at Cape Kennedy, Florida. Four days later, Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin landed the lunar module on the moon while Astronaut Michael Collins piloted the command module in its orbit around the moon.
This photograph above shows the liftoff of Apollo 11 at 9:32 a.m., EDT, on July 16, 1969, from the Kennedy Space Center launch pad with Astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin A. “Buzz” Aldrin, on its flight to the moon.
Below, Lady Bird Johnson, Former President Lyndon B. Johnson, and Vice President Spiro Agnew view the launch of Apollo 11. The sunglasses in the crowd are pretty nifty, too.
We’ll be tracing events from the Apollo 11 flight this week, so stay tuned for more of the moon mission of 1969.
-from the Presidential Timeline