On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy challenged the nation to land a man on the Moon before the end of the decade, striking a responsive chord with the American people. The Apollo program was created to meet this goal, and on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to walk on the Moon as part of the Apollo 11 mission.
In commemoration of this year's 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, explore National Archives records that detail the carefully choreographed sequence of steps—from lift-off to splash-down—that resulted in the mission’s “giant leap for mankind."
Photograph of President Richard Nixon Greeting the Apollo 11 Astronauts on the USS Hornet. Due to concerns about the astronauts potentially being contaminated during their time in outer space, they were first kept in a modified Airstream trailer that served as a mobile quarantine facility before spending the remainder of the 21-day quarantine period at the NASA Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, Texas. National Archives Identifier 17409727
For more Apollo II records, resources, and stories:
Visit the Featured Document Display commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Apollo XI moon landing in the East Rotunda Gallery at the National Archives Museum, July 3 - August 7, 2019
Check out our space-related historic GIFs on our GIPHY channel to share with your friends on your favorite social platform.
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Summer days are here! Make the most of these longer days, and keep cool with the National Archives as a virtual volunteer. When you’re not canoeing or enjoying the great outdoors, join us to help unlock history! Check out our latest Citizen Archivist Missions and help tag and transcribe historical records.