Wednesday, July 20, 2016


JFK+50:  Volume 6, No. 2015


Houston, Texas (JFK+50) In May 1961, speaking to the United States Congress, President John F. Kennedy set the goal of "landing a man on the moon" before the end of the decade.  On September 12, 1962, President Kennedy spoke to 35,000 people at Rice Stadium here in Houston.  He said...

"We choose to go to the Moon in this decade...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 we intend to win."

Forty-seven years ago today, July 20, 1969, JFK's vision of landing a man on the moon was achieved when astronauts Neil Armstrong* and Buzz
Aldrin** touched down on the lunar surface. With astronaut Michael Collins*** at the controls of the mother ship Columbia in lunar orbit, Armstrong and Aldrin descended to the surface of the moon aboard Eagle.

At 3:17 p.m., CDT Armstrong reported...

"Houston, Tranquility Base here. The Eagle has landed." 

This response came from Charles Duke, Capsule Communicator based here in Houston...

"Roger, Tranquility.  We copy you on the ground.  You've got a bunch of guys about to turn blue.  We're breathing again."

Later, at 9:39 p.m., Neil Armstrong opened the hatch and began his walk down the ladder. He turned on a TV camera and set his left foot on the moon's surface.  Five hundred million people were watching as he stepped down from the ladder of the lunar module and said...

"That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."

*Neil Armstrong (1930-2012) was born in Wapakoneta, Ohio.  He served in the US Navy in the Korean War. NA was a graduate of Purdue University and later after becoming a test pilot joined the astronaut corps in 1962. His 1st space flight was on Gemini 8 in 1966. 

**Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin was born in Montclair, NJ on Jan 20, 1930. He is a graduate of West Point where he majored in mechanical engineering. 
Buzz served in Korea and flew 66 combat missions.  He joined the astronaut program in 1963.

***Michael Collins was born in Rome, Italy, the son of a US military officer, on October 31, 1930.  He attended West Point and joined the US Air Force.
MC was accepted to the astronaut program in 1963 and his 1st space flight came on Gemini 10.


"One Small Step:  Celebrating the First Men on the Moon," by Jerry Stone, Templar Publishing, Great Britain, 2009.

"The Eagle Has Landed: Happy Anniversary, Apollo 11," by Nate Rawlings, July 20, 2011,

JFK Speaks at Rice University
Houston, Texas
September 12, 1962
NASA Photo