In President Kennedy's speech to Congress on May 25, 1961, he expressed concern that the United States was falling behind the Soviet Union in technology and prestige. He issued a challenge for the U.S. to put a man on the moon before the end of the decade.
On July 16, 1969, Apollo 11 launched from the Kennedy Space Center, landed on the moon fifty-one years ago today on July 20th and then landed back on Earth in the Pacific Ocean on July 24th. Neil Armstrong became the first person to step onto the moon, and proclaimed, "That's one small step for man; one giant leap for mankind."
The astronauts spent about 2-1/2 hours on the surface of the moon where they collected soil samples, planted a US flag and left behind a bag of memorial items and extra equipment that they did not need for the return flight, in order to lighten the load. After Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin from Apollo 11, only 10 other men have ever landed on the moon.
When they returned to Earth, the astronauts were quarantined for 21 days as a precaution, then went on a 45-day "Giant Leap" tour all over the world. Quite a celebration!
National Moon Day (July 20) commemorates this historic moment, which was reported by NASA as being "the single greatest technological achievement of all time." Join in the celebration with these fun ideas to Eat, Make, Read, Watch!
1.) Our Rocket Fruit Kabobs are simply fresh fruit on a skewer.
2.) Homemade Moon Pies are fun for the whole family to bake together... and delicious to eat together too!
3.) Or simply use a star-shaped cookie cutter on watermelon slices!
For toddlers and preschoolers, make a soda bottle rocket ship like the one pictured.
For older kids, make a film canister rocket, a hovercraft, or moon dust.
The following books are available to borrow from the Gwinnett County Libraries. Simply click the book's title to make a Hold Request. Many are also available from the Fulton County Libraries.
These books can be purchased at JOHNS CREEK BOOKS AND GIFTS.
- Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown
- Kitten's First Full Moon by Kevin Henkes
- The Moon Shines Down by Margaret Wise Brown
- Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me by Eric Carle
- Long Night Moon by Cynthia Rylant
- The Moon Book by Gail Gibbons
- Moon! Earth's Best Friend by Stacy McAnulty
- There's No Place Like Space by Tish Rabe
- Go for the Moon: A Rocket, A Boy, and the First Moon Landing by Chris Gall
- Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly
- The Magic School Bus Lost in the Solar System by Joanna Cole
- Moonshot: The Flight of Apollo 11 by Brian Floca
- One Giant Leap by Robert Burleigh
- A Child's Introduction to the Night Sky by Michael Driscoll
- Destination Moon: The Remarkable and Improbable Voyage of Apollo 11 by Richard Maurer
- Moonbound: Apollo 11 and the Dream of Spaceflight by Jonathan Fetter-Vorm
- Reaching for the Moon: The Autobiography of NASA Mathematician Katherine Johnson by Katherine Johnson
WALL•E ©Disney•Pixar 2008. All rights reserved.
MOVIES ABOUT THE MOON AND SPACE: Most of these titles are available on Amazon.com
- 2001: A Space Odyssey – Sci-Fi Adventure (1968)
- Space Buddies – Family Adventure (2009)
- WALL•E – Animated Adventure (2008)
- Apollo 13 – Historical Adventure (1995)
- Despicable Me – Animated Comedy (2010)
- Hidden Figures – Biographical Drama (2016)
- In the Shadow of the Moon – Documentary (2007)
- The Right Stuff – Biographical Adventure (1983)
- Armageddon – Sci-Fi Adventure (1998)
- First Man – Biographical Drama (2018)
- Guardians of the Galaxy – Sci-Fi Action (2014)
- Gravity – Sci-Fi Thriller/Drama (2013))
- Interstellar – Sci-Fi Adventure/Drama (2014)
- The Martian – Sci-Fi Adventure/Drama (2015)
- Space Cowboys Sci-Fi Adventure (2000)
- Stargate – Sci-Fi Adventure (1994)
And, you can also watch the entire documentary, Moonwalk One, on YouTube:
The very best way to celebrate Moon Day is to set up a telescope if you have one and view the moon tonight! It will peak at 10:37PM. Although not completely full until July 23rd, the moon tonight will be spectacular!
Click for more FUN DAYS IN JULY TO CELEBRATE WITH YOUR FAMILY!
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