Neil Armstrong

First Man on the Moon

In October, 1957, the Soviet Union successfully launched the first human-made satellite, Sputnik, into space.  Four years later, in April 1961, Yuri Gagarin, also from the Soviet Union, became the first human to orbit Earth. In response, in May, 1961, President John Kennedy announced, “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.” 

Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins successfully achieved this goal in July, 1969.

Collins, who went to St. Albans School in Washington, D.C., donated a moon rock to Washington National Cathedral; the rock is in a stained glass window at the Cathedral.  In honor of Armstrong, who recently died, and all human achievements in space, Petworth Library has put up a display of books about human exploration of space, including:

First Man
History of NASA
First Man History of NASA  
Hubble Chronological Encyclopedia of Discoveries in Space
Hubble Chronological Encyclopedia of Discoveries in Space