...giant leap for mankind that went where?
Apollo 11 astronauts departed from the moon 40 years ago today after making history with man's first visit to the lunar surface. As the world watched in awe the previous day, astronaut Neil Armstrong took the very first step on the moon declaring, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." The journey back to earth ended a space odyssey in which the astronauts etched their names beside those of history's great explorers, Columbus, Balboa, Magellan, de Gama and Byrd. Through the magic of television, an estimated 500 million people around the world, including daughters Debbie and Cindy, wife Anne and myself, had a ringside seat to history's greatest adventure.
The Apollo 11 mission fulfilled President John F. Kennedy's goal of safely bringing a man to the moon and back by the end of the 1960s. As Armstrong and fellow flight member Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin stood by the American flag on the moon, President Richard Nixon commented on their success. "Because of what you have done, the heavens have become part of man's world. It inspsires us to double our efforts to bring peace and tranquility to earth," he said. Uh hu!!
Had poor Nixon not been embroiled in the infamous Watergate scandal, we may have been well on our way to world peace by now. Not!