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On this day in 1969, Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to walk on the moon

July 20, 2024

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 20 of July, repeating indefinitely

On this day in 1969, Americans Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin (Apollo 11) became the first men to walk on the moon. In this first successful moon landing, the men spent 2 ½ hours on the surface of the moon, collecting samples, taking pictures, and planting an American flag. The event was (and is!) significant not just in American history, but all of world history as well.

Aside from the flag, Armstrong and Aldrin left two more souvenirs on the moon: a patch honoring the Apollo 1 mission crew, who had perished in an accident, and a plaque reading, “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the moon. July 1969 A.D. We came in peace for all mankind.”

Did you know? Neil Armstrong’s famous quote, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” is not what he claimed to have actually said. Armstrong noted that he had said, “That’s one small step for A man…”
Why the missing word? Armstrong’s Ohio accent likely slurred “for” and “a” together.

Upon returning to their spacecraft, the astronauts found that moon dust had a very distinctive smell – like wet ashes or burnt fireworks. The scent wasn’t permanent, however, dissipating by the time soil samples were opened on Earth.

Buzz Aldrin and the U.S. Flag on the Moon, NASA/Apollo 11, July 20, 1969

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Date:
July 20, 2024
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