Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Celebration

First Flight Boulder, with moon above on July 20, 1969
The First Flight Boulder, beneath the moon on July 20, 1969 during Neil Armstrong's Lunar Excursion.

NPS PHOTO

Join Park Rangers to commemorate the first Lunar Landing July 18-21.


On July 20, 1969 Astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin became the first humans to set foot on the moon. This accomplishment was a monumental moment, and the culmination of years of hard work, ingeunity, passion, and reliseance on behalf of thousands of individuals.

Most people who were alive in 1969 can remember exactly where they were when humans first stepped on the moon. Most can remember being mesmorized by the television footage of man's "one giant leap."

In the Outer Banks of North Carolina, over a thousand residents flocked to Wright Brothers National Memorial to watch the live broadcast of the event. Park Rangers set up a bank of TVs on the back porch, so people could watch this amazing event from the grounds of Wright Brothers National Memorial, where humans first left the ground just 66 years prior in 1903.

In 2019, we celebrate 50 years since the Apollo 11 moon landing. To commemmorate the event, The National Park Service, in partnership with Outer Banks Forever, First Flight Foundation, NASA, and First Flight Society, are inviting the public to partake in a recreation of the 1969 viewing party. Additionally, special events will occur throughout the weekend.
 
Astronaut Eric Boe
Guest Speaker, Astronaut Eric Boe

NASA

Special Guest Speaker, NASA Astronaut Eric A. Boe (Colonel, U.S. Air Force Retired).

The National Park Service is honored to welcome Colonel Boe to Wright Brothers National Memorial on July 20th to help commemorate the event. Eric Boe was selected as an astronaut by NASA in 2000, and is a veteran of two space shuttle flights, serving as a pilot for the Space Shuttles Endeavour and Discovery. Boe and his crewmates are currently working closely with Boeing to develop their new spacecraft systems, which will provide crew transportation services to the International Space Station and return the ability to launch humans into space from United States soil.
 
1969 viewing party
Visitors gather outside the Wright Brothers Visitor Center to watch news footage of the first lunar landing.

NPS Photo

Schedule of Events


Thursday, July 18

6:30pm: Apollo 11 Activities at Dowdy Park (Ranger Program)

Join Park Rangers for hands-on learning activities for kids prior to the 8pm movie showing in Nags Head, NC.

7pm: Apollo 11, Final Chapter in the Space Race (Special Program)
National Park Service volunteer, Chris Godart, will present a program called "Apollo 11, Final Chapter in the Space Race." Explore the events leading up to the historic mission of Apollo 11, and learn how the mission progressed to safely land man on the moon and return to earth.

8pm: “Apollo 11” Documentary at Dowdy Park (Special Event)

At around 8:00 p.m., the “Apollo 11” documentary will be shown at Dowdy Park in Nags Head. This free event is supported by the First Flight Foundation.

Friday, July 19

10am, 11am, 12pm, 4pm: Sand Dunes & Moon Dust (Ranger Program)

Learn about the events leading to the first powered flight in 1903 and its
similarities to the Apollo 11 mission.

1pm, 2:30pm: The Wright Stuff (Ranger Program)

Explore the Legacy of the Wright Brothers from Kitty Hawk to Tranquility Base

Saturday, July 20

10am, 11am, 4pm: Sand Dunes & Moon Dust (Ranger Program)

Learn about the events leading to the first powered flight in 1903 and its similarities to the Apollo 11 mission.

10am, 3pm, 4:30pm: Planet Walk (Ranger Program)

Join a park ranger to walk a scale model of the solar system on the grounds of the memorial. Learn about distant planets and how they relate to each other.

12pm: Apollo 11, Final Chapter in the Space Race (Ranger Program)

National Park Service volunteer, Chris Godart, will present a program called “Apollo 11, Final Chapter in the Space Race. Explore the events leading up to the historic mission of Apollo 11, and learn how the mission progressed to safely land man on the moon and return to earth.

2pm: Ask an Astronaut with NASA Astronaut

NASA Astronaut and Space Shuttle veteran Eric Boe will give a short presentation on his experiences in space and lead a question and answer session with the audience.

2:30pm: The Wright Stuff (Ranger Program)

Explore the Legacy of the Wright Brothers from Kitty Hawk to Tranquility Base

5pm: Meet and Greet with NASA Astronaut Eric Boe

Meet a real-life astronaut, and interact informally.

7pm Special Guest Speaker (Feature Event)

Active NASA astronaut Eric Boe will discuss spaceflight and the newest NASA initiatives to return to the moon and beyond.

8:10pm: Walter Cronkite Footage of the Moon Landing (Feature Event)

Rebroadcast of Walter Cronkite’s famous moon landing news coverage will begin just after 8:00 p.m. and conclude around 8:45 p.m.


Sunday, July 21

10am, 11am, 12pm, 4pm: Sand Dunes & Moon Dust (Ranger Program)

Learn about the events leading to the first powered flight in 1903 and its
similarities to the Apollo 11 mission.

1pm, 2:30pm: The Wright Stuff (Ranger Program)

Explore the Legacy of the Wright Brothers from Kitty Hawk to Tranquility Base

 

Additional July 20 details:

  • Visitors should bring beach chairs and flashlights.

  • Visitors are encouraged to dress up as astronauts or in 1960s era costumes.

  • Special activities for kids will be provided by the NPS and NASA Langley Research Center in the Junior Aviator Store.

  • Food trucks will be available at the memorial for guests to purchase food.

  • In the event of rain, the speakers will still present their talks under a tent, but the viewing will be canceled.

Last updated: July 12, 2019

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

Wright Brothers National Memorial
1401 National Park Drive

Manteo, NC 27954

Phone:

(252) 473-2111

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