On July 20, 1969, NASA’s astronauts, Mission Commander Neil Armstrong and Pilot Buzz Aldrin, became the first Americans to land on the moon in the Apollo 11 space journey. This was, as Neil Armstrong said, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” as it ended America’s Space Race with its Cold War rival, the Soviet Union.
Historian Jim Gibbons will discuss the space goal proposed by President John F. Kennedy in 1961 and how it was fulfilled for the U.S. in 1969. Gibbons will explain how Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon with Aldrin following behind 20 minutes later. He will discuss how both men spent almost a full day on the surface of the moon, bringing back many lunar items with them, and how this launched an important part of American history.