UPDATE: Neil Armstrong passed away today at the age of 82. I posted this last August 13th, 2011, and as a tribute to his extraordinary life, I’m reposting it today in tribute to one of mankind’s greatest ambassadors for wisdom and peace.
I’m a huge fan of John F. Kennedy, the 34th President of the United States. JFK was a brilliant man who had a vision to send Americans to the moon before the Soviet Union did it. He correctly surmised that even though we were behind in the space race, if Americans could send a man to the moon first, the historic achievement would be so vast that it would place us light years ahead of the Soviets in the race to explore space. Here is a highlight of his most famous speech about going to the moon delivered at Rice University in 1962.
On July 20th, 1969, Kennedy’s vision came to fruition as the Apollo 11’s lunar module spacecraft, Eagle, touched down on the moon’s surface in the “Sea of Tranquility.” Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin spent 21 hours on the moon’s surface while Command Module Pilot Michael Collins orbited in the Columbia before he picked them up. They returned to Earth on July 24th, splashing down in the Pacific Ocean. It was one of human history’s greatest achievements ever. I was born in 1984, and consequently missed this historic occasion. Luckily, the kind users of youtube have uploaded a special documentary of the original CBS broadcast, expertly hosted by Walter Cronkite, which I will display below. It is a thrilling document of history, and makes you kind of sad that very little in today’s news and course of human events can rival the majestic profundity of this moment. I hope you enjoy this as much as I have.