When I was in grade school, we were told that the Moon was made out of cheese. I don’t know how that ever got started. Since no one ever landed on the moon, I guess it couldn’t be “disproven”.Maybe those craters were really gigantic Swiss cheese holes. Then, in 1962 President Kennedy addressing Rice University challenging the US ( all of us) to go to the Moon and do it during that decade.
Kennedy was rather passionate as he said::
“We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too. “
In the back of our minds was the unspoken “competition” with the Russians who seemed to have a jump on us with their space program. So, the words of President John Kennedy and the investment in intellectual talent and real dollars, netted us the greatest technological accomplishment in man’s history. . Apollo 11 departed Earth on July 16th and l set foot on the Moon‘s surface on 4:17pm on July 20th. The Commander was Neil Armstrong, Command Module Pilot, Michael Collins and Lunar Module Pilot, Edwin Aldrin, Jr.
I graduated Lewiston High School in June 1969. A friend and I were at my family cottage. I remember watching the landing and the first words uttered by Armstrong. Throughout the 60s, every space launch was a major television event. The landing was viewed worldwide by over 500 million people – a record audience at that time. It captured the imagination of young children and created a sense of pride for America.
You can go online and the same folks who will tell to watch for Mars will also tell you that we never landed on the Moon and that this, like so many other things, is a “government ploy” to fool people. I am relieved that the Moon is not made of cheese but exploration has led our nation and other nations to take risks and go further than we could ever imagine.
Congratulations to NASA and the crew of Apollo 11 . As we approach the 40th anniversary of the Moon landing, check your listings and watch as the mission evolved and listen to the tension, relief and exhilaration of a Mission accomplished.
I was at my parents cabin in Maine on July 20, 1969 watching the landing. Where were you??