"One Giant Leap for Mankind": 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing
18 artifacts in this set
Founded in 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was an independent agency of the U.S. government responsible for the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research. This NASA recruiting advertisement from Scientific American was intended to convince senior aerospace engineers "to accept a significant role in mankind's greatest challenge--the conquest of space."
Souvenir Card, Astronaut Alan Shepard Receiving Distinguished Service Medal from President Kennedy, 1961
Souvenirs helped generate excitement about the latest achievements in the space program. This pictorial souvenir card depicts President Kennedy awarding NASA's Distinguished Service Medal to America's first astronaut, Navy Commander Alan B. Shepard Jr., on May 8, 1961, three days after his successful flight.
President John F. Kennedy's vision to explore the "new frontier" of outer space ignited the public's imagination. Trading cards like these generated excitement among America's youth about the achievements of the space program. The U.S. astronauts and their accomplishments dominate the card fronts, while the backs are more fantasy-based, requiring 3-D glasses to view.
This Topps trading card features the accomplishments of astronaut Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom. Grissom was one of the original Mercury 7--the first seven American astronauts--and he piloted the second mission of Project Mercury, the NASA program that put the first Americans in space.
Astronaut John Glenn is featured on this Topps trading card. Glenn became the first American to orbit the Earth on February 20, 1962, achieving one of Projects Mercury's most important goals.
This mechanical bank would have been offered at a local branch bank as an incentive for youngsters to start a savings account. Called "Destination Moon," this bank commemorates astronaut John Glenn's achievement of orbiting the earth in 1962. The rocket ship resembles real ones of the time while the moon on top symbolizes America's ultimate goal in the 1960s.
NASA's Apollo lunar missions captivated audiences watching the live events on their televisions at home. Before video recording technology was widely available, people photographed the events with their personal cameras. These images of the Apollo 11 moon landing capture the public fascination with, and desire to commemorate one's place in, historical moments.
In another image taken of the televised event, the American flag can be seen flying over the lunar surface.
The July 25, 1969, issue of Time Magazine contained an in-depth report of the historic moon-landing mission. The cover illustration depicting Neil Armstrong walking on the moon was created by prominent freelance artist Louis G. Glanzman. Glanzman, who began his career in the 1930s as an illustrator for comic and children's books, created works used by many popular American magazines--including more than eighty covers for Time.
This poster depicts Edwin A. "Buzz" Aldrin Jr. walking on the moon's surface, a photo taken by Neil Armstrong. The quote at the bottom contains the line that Armstrong had intended to say on July 20, 1969: "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." Instead, his line came out "one small step for man."
This phonograph record features news correspondent Walter Cronkite's narration of the Apollo 11 mission and recalls the history of the U.S. space program. Those who viewed the moon landing on TV on July 20, 1969, often find it hard to remember the historic occasion without also remembering the steadfast reporting of it by Cronkite--considered at the time "the most trusted man in America."
The successful moon landing led to a plethora of commemorative merchandise. This game simulates the landing of astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on the lunar surface on July 20, 1969. The winner of the game was the first to leave Earth, land on the Moon, collect moon rocks, and return to Earth by landing in the recovery zone.
This lunchbox, manufactured by Aladdin Industries to honor the July 20, 1969, moon landing, features images of Neil Armstrong's first step on the lunar surface and the command module's splashdown after reentry to earth. The thermos depicts the American flag the astronauts planted on the moon, as well as the plaque they left on the lunar surface.
Snoopy--the beagle with the rich imagination found in the popular Peanuts comic strip--was no ordinary dog. He walked on two legs, showed a rebellious streak, and daydreamed of being "World Famous." Four months before real men landed on the moon, Snoopy appeared in the comic strip as the "World Famous Astronaut" walking on the moon. This Peanuts Pocket Doll commemorates the 1969 moon landing.
This phonograph record, produced in 1969, comprises a "recorded history of space exploration and the triumph of the lunar landing." The front depicts astronaut Neil Armstrong taking his first steps on the moon after descending from the Apollo 11 lunar module; the back shows the three Apollo 11 astronauts and describes the events that led up to that historic mission.
In the 1960s and 1970s, gas stations and other types of convenience stores often gave away promotional glasses featuring a wide array of popular subjects of the day. At the height of the Apollo space program, Marathon gas stations offered a series of glasses featuring the Apollo 11, 12, 13, and 14 missions, including these Apollo 11 promotional drinking glasses.
This coloring book from 1969 was created to excite youngsters about the space program and especially about the moon landing of July 20. It covered the Mercury, Apollo, and Saturn vehicles and astronauts, as well as some history of the space program.
The Apollo 11 astronauts took pieces of the 1903 Wright Flyer--the first practical heavier-than-air flying machine--on their 1969 mission. They did this to symbolize the incredible progress made in those 66 years. Here, Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong poses in front of the Wright brother's home in Greenfield Village during a 1979 visit to The Henry Ford.