U.S. Moon Landing: July 20, 1969

Washington, DC

In 1957, President Dwight Eisenhower created the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. In 1961, President John Kennedy vowed to land a man on the moon. On July 16, 1969, Apollo 1—crewed by Michael Collins, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin and Neil Armstrong, launched a flight to the moon. On July 20, Armstrong and Aldrin used a lunar module, the Eagle, to descend to the surface of the moon. Armstrong exited the Eagle and stepped on the moon, saying, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” Aldrin joined Armstrong for a brief exploration of the Moon’s surface and then planted a U.S. flag. The crew returned to Earth July 24. Five more Apollo landings occurred before the program ceased in 1972.

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