Archive for July 20, 2020

National Moon Day, 51 Years Later: By Guest Host, James Mullaney

July 20, 2020

NATIONAL MOON DAY-51 YEARS

National Moon Day on July 20th commemorates the day man first walked on the moon in 1969. NASA reported the moon landing as being “…the single greatest technological achievement of all time.”

On July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 carried the first humans to the moon. Six hours after landing on the moon, American Neil Armstrong stepped onto the lunar surface. He spent two and a half hours outside the spacecraft. Buzz Aldrin soon followed, stepping onto the lunar surface. After joining Armstrong, the two men collected 47.5 pounds of lunar material. Their specimens would make the journey back to Earth to be analyzed. 

NATIONAL MOON DAY HISTORY

In 1971, President Richard Nixon proclaimed National Moon Landing Day on July 20th to honor the anniversary of man’s first moon landing. However, no continuing resolution followed.

Enter Richard Christmas. He took up the baton by launching a “Christmas Card” writing campaign. The Michigan native wrote to governors and members of Congress in all 50 states urging them to create National Moon Day. He achieved some success, too. By July of 1975, 12 states sponsored bills observing Moon Day.

Another modern-day supporter of National Moon Day is Astronomer James J. Mullaney. He knows a few things about the moon, too. As a former Curator of Exhibits and Astronomy at Pittsburgh’s original Buhl Planetarium, Mullaney is on a mission. He says, “If there’s a Columbus Day on the calendar, there certainly should be a Moon Day!” His goal is a federally recognized holiday.

In 2019, President Donald Trump proclaimed July 20th as the 50th Anniversary Observance of the Apollo 11 Lunar Landing. However, no National Moon Day has been declared.