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Men on the Moon, July 20, 1969

On July 20, 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin walked on the moon. Along with a capsule and an American flag, they left a plaque inscribed, “Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the moon...We came in peace for all mankind.” The astronauts spoke to a joint session of Congress on September 16, 1969

Nixon Presidential Materials, National Archives and Records Administration

Men on the Moon

Sending Americans into Space - 1

In the 1950s, the United States and the Soviet Union began programs for manned and unmanned scientific missions into space. The Soviets’ successful launch of the unmanned Sputnik 1 satellite in 1957 made Congress determined to jolt the U.S. space program into action. Winning the race to space became a political, scientific, and security priority. The United States intensified its efforts to be the first nation to send a man to the moon.