Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing

Library Exhibit Highlights Historic Lunar Mission

It was early morning on Wednesday, July 16, 1969. By all accounts, the weather was calm and beautiful.

Apollo 11 sat atop its powerful Saturn V launch rocket on Launch Pad 39A at the John F. Kennedy Space Center. At 6:45 a.m. EDT, American astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin were secured in their seats aboard the spacecraft.

By mid-morning, an estimated one million people had traveled to the area to watch the historic space launch and tens of millions more tuned in to television and radio broadcasts. The “Voice of Apollo 11,” NASA Public Affairs Officer Jack King, offered live commentary of the preparations and launch from Launch Control at Kennedy Space Center. (Read/hear the Apollo 11 Flight Journal and transcripts.)

“…We are still Go with Apollo 11. 30 seconds and counting. Astronauts report, ‘It feels good.’
T minus 25 seconds. Twenty seconds and counting.
T minus 15 seconds, guidance is internal.
Twelve, 11, 10, 9, ignition sequence starts…
6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, zero, all engines running… LIFT-OFF!
We have a lift-off, 32 minutes past the hour.
Lift-off on Apollo 11.
Tower cleared.”

The launch happened at 9:32 a.m. EDT, and just 12 minutes later, Apollo 11 entered Earth’s orbit. And with that, Commander Armstrong, Command Module Pilot Collins, and Lunar Module Pilot Aldrin were headed to the moon.

One of the many features of the exhibit is a display of news articles and memorabilia.

On July 20, 1969, the Apollo Lunar Module Eagle successfully landed at Mare Tranquillitatis (Sea of Tranquility). It was 4:17 p.m. EDT. Six hours later, Armstrong became the first person to step onto the lunar surface. Aldrin joined him 19 minutes later. (Collins flew the command module Columbia alone in lunar orbit while his fellow crew members were on the moon’s surface.)

Apollo 11 Moon Landing Interactive Exhibit

To celebrate this important milestone in space exploration and American history, the Library District will have an Apollo 11 Moon Landing Exhibit set up at Old Town Library from July 1-30. Parts of the exhibit will then move to Council Tree Library (July 31-August 14) before heading to Harmony Library (August 15-31).

In addition to copies of historic photographs and documents from the period, the exhibit will feature a scale model of the Saturn 5 launch rocket and other fun activities like a 1,000-piece community puzzle, coloring pages, and displays.

The anniversary exhibit also includes an audio-visual recording of the moon landing and other multimedia and interactive experiences.

The Eagle has Landed!

The Apollo 11 celebration is just one part of the space-themed 2019 Summer Reading Challenge: A Universe of Stories. All ages can participate in summer reading by signing up online. A full schedule and description of programs, classes, and activities is available on the Library District’s online event calendar.

Additional Library Resources

If you’re interested in learning more about the Apollo 11 mission, be sure to check out the various book and movie displays at the libraries or talk with a librarian. You can also find great options using library apps like Kanopy and OverDrive or services like Book FLIX and Science FLIX including:

Team Moon: How 400,000 People Landed Apollo 11 on the Moon by Catherine Thimmesh (RB Digital eAudiobook, children’s nonfiction)

Eight Days Gone by Linda McReynolds (Tumblebooks, children’s nonfiction)

Apollo 11: First Moon Landing from NBC News (Films on Demand)

Discover Magazine Special Issue “Apollo at 50” (RB Digital eMagazines, May 31, 2019)

1969: Walking on the Moon (Turning Points in Modern History Series: Episode 21 / The Great Courses) (Kanopy)

Where Were You?

Do you have memories of the excitement around Apollo 11? Share with us in the comments. #ConnectToCuriosity