Gayle Anderson was live in Yorba Linda at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, where in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 moon landing, the library and museum opens an all-new interactive special exhibit, Apollo 11: One Giant Leap for Mankind.
On July 20, 1969, the eyes of the world watched as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first men to walk on the moon. Just minutes after landing they received a call from President Richard Nixon in the Oval Office, with congratulations on behalf of the American people. Three days later, President Nixon personally greeted the three astronauts at the splashdown site in the Pacific Ocean, aboard the U.S.S. Hornet.
Museum-goers will take a thrill ride through the Space Race of the 1950s and 1960s, President Kennedy’s famous challenge to go to the moon, and the scientific and technological advancements that were developed —many in Southern California— to ensure success and survival on this inspirational mission.
The exhibit’s originally-created, 360-degree virtual reality experience will transport visitors to the lunar surface on July 20, 1969, to see and hear Neil Armstrong’s “one giant leap for mankind.”
Artifacts and objects featured in the exhibit include:
- Buzz Aldrin’s penlight used in the Lunar Module and Apollo 11 patch worn on the surface of the moon
- NASA X-15 silver-gleaming pressure suit used to train Neil Armstrong and America’s first astronauts in the 1950s
- Moon rocks from the lunar surface, acquired during the Apollo 15 and Apollo 17 missions
- Oval Office telephone that President Nixon used to call Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin as they explored on the lunar surface
- Presidential Medal of Freedom Award presented to astronaut Michael Collins by President Nixon
- Original of President Nixon’s draft speech prepared in the event of a “moon disaster”
- A 3-D printed, life-sized statue of Neil Armstrong in his space suit, as he climbed down the ladder of the Lunar Module on the moon
- A giant, exact recreation of an Apollo mission command module
Visitors will sit in a 1969 American living room and watch the moon landing just like people all over the world did on the historic night 50 years ago.
All subsequent lunar landings happened during the Nixon administration, and Richard Nixon remains the only president with his name on a plaque on the lunar surface.
Exhibit partners include NASA, the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, Boeing, the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation and Immersive VR Education. Other contributing organizations include the Astronaut Scholarship Foundation, Discovery Cube, Virginia Tech University and the Columbia Memorial Space Center.
Apollo 11: One Giant Leap for Mankind is included with admission to the Nixon Library. The Nixon Library is open seven days a week, Mondays through Saturdays from 10 AM to 5 PM and Sundays from 11 AM to 5 PM.
The Apollo 11 Lands at the Nixon
Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum
18001 Yorba Linda Boulevard
Yorba Linda, CA 92886