Due to the government shutdown, all Smithsonian museums are closed. For further updates on our operating status follow us on social media.
The Apollo 11 lunar landing was a global event. Please share your thoughts with us regarding this remarkable event.
I remember my mom and dad waking me up to watch the landing and Moon walk. Like a goofy kid, I had to have all my cool space stuff next to me while we watched. I remember most my dad’s eyes starting to well up when they walked on the Moon. It was a huge sense of pride for all of us.
I remember watching the moon landing on TV. I was watching NASA's broadcast from Cayey, Puerto Rico. My parents and my sister Maria were with me. Back then I loved learning about science in school so I loved the space program very much. The moon landings and watching Star Trek while growing up in Puerto Rico inspired me to become an engineer and a pilot, both of which I achieved in the 1979. The NASM is my favorite museum and I still enjoy flying.
I remember when TV was interrupted and stated that a broadcast of the moon landing was going to begin. It was so exciting and nerve racking at the same time. I thought it was so important to Americans. My family was glued to the TV and hard to believe the vision was coming from the moon.
My grandfather was born July 20th, 1903, six months before the Wright Brothers' first flight. In May of '61, my dad - a freshly minted fighter pilot, was home on leave to the small town in Nebraska where he grew up and he was sitting with my grandfather talking about Kennedy's speech from earlier in the day wherein the president had challenged America to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. My grandpa said "It'll never happen..." My dad said "Oh yes it will!"
They decided to bet a dollar and my grandpa used a carpenter's marking crayon to write "Man On Moon By 01-01-70" across the face of the bill. They placed the bill on a shelf in the kitchen and there it remained until July 20, 1969 when my grandpa answered a long distance phone call from California. It wasn't a birthday greeting he received, but rather, a call from my dad who gleefully exclaimed "Send it out!"
A few days later, the "Moon Dollar" arrived in the mail and my dad placed it with his other important documents where it safely remained until his passing two years ago this July. Now, the Moon Dollar is one of my treasured possessions, a fond reminder of a friendly bet placed nearly 60 years ago between an old Nebraska farmer and his fighter pilot son...
It was such a huge deal around our house my dad wanted to preserve the moment. This was long before VCRs, DVDs, and DVRs. With all of us gathered around the TV to watch, he used his 8 mm home movie camera to film it off the TV. The result wasn't very high quality, but still, it was the moment man first stepped on the Moon! Recently my brother put all our home movies onto DVDs, and when going through them I really enjoyed seeing the forgotten film my father took on the momentous day in 1969.
I was only 3 years old - but somehow by the magic of Dads RCA black and white TV, I can remember images of ghostly men bouncing slowly around on some other place - this is my earliest vivid memory of my LIFE. I sat on the living room floor with Dad watching history unfold before my very very young eyes. My very first memory of anything I can recall.
Godspeed Apollo 11
I was a child of the space race growing up in the 60's and watching everything we did to put men on the moon. I built models of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo spacecraft and read everything I could find on the vehicles and men flying them. But I was most excited when, on my 15th birthday, Neil Armstrong walked on the moon. What a birthday gift for and excited space nut! My family gathered around our TV to watch the live broadcast in Dallas, Texas that night. I would not make it into NASA but did fly in the USAF and enjoyed watching two good friends get selected and fly on the Shuttle.
I was 5 years old when Apollo 11 flew and my memories of the mission are somewhat vague. I can remember the later Apollo flights much better. Anyway, I can remember watching the landing coverage with my parents. Everybody seems to remember Walter Cronkite's coverage but my Dad never liked him so we watched ABC with Frank Reynolds and Jules Bergman. I seem to recall that they were on the moon but in the LM for several hours before they went outside. I can then recall being outside playing in the yard when my Mom called me inside. I recall it was in the evening but summer days in Montana are long. I got in just in time to see the ghostly b&w image of Neil Armstrong coming out on to the "porch" then down the ladder and finally stepping out on the surface.
I remember my grammar school teacher telling me about her experience on the day Neil Armstrong landed on the moon. She had such a sense of patriotism when telling our class how her and her family sat around the TV and watched this momentous event of American history.
My parents took the family to the annual Navy picnic in Annapolis and everybody crowded around a small black and white TV set to watch. It was so exciting and meaningful that so many of us saw it happen together. We all cheered and hugged and celebrated. It was a moment I'll never forget. The day the world felt as one as we stepped onto another one.
In an audio interview with me, one of the "Voices of Apollo 11," Douglas Ward recalls the 1969 moon landing: "Several computer alarms began to pop up." http://www.meyersonstrategy.com/2016/07/voice-of-apollo-11-recalls-moon-landing.html
I was a bright-eyed 5 year old living in Australia, where to us, history was being made on a cold and wintery morning. My entire school had crowded into an assembly hall where we watched the grainy images on a small B&W TV that had been placed on a stand. When compared with so many other "Where were you when...?" events that have transformed our lives, it's sad that at that age I couldn't really comprehend the historic significance of what I was viewing. 47 years later though, that cold morning, that hall, that TV and those ghostly images are all deeply etched in my memory. I speak of them proudly too when I tell my kids that if I can witness 2 men walk on the moon, then there are simply no boundaries to what they can achieve in their lives.