Apollo XI aims skyward into the realm of heavens, July 16 1969.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3mt9znatmyQ]

Apollo 11 Launch

Following the successful Translunar Injection of Apollo 11 as it exited Earth’s orbit, President Nixon released a proclamation calling for a National Day of Participation Honoring the Apollo 11 Mission, to be observed on July 21 1971.

The proclamation, below, reads:

roll 8931111
roll 8931113

The President’s decision to issue this proclamation came at the recommendation of former NASA astronaut Colonel Frank Borman. In a July 12 option memo, Borman strongly recommended the concept of having the President issue a statement shortly after the launch, wishing the astronauts well on their journey to the moon. President Nixon ultimately

The option memo, which also lists other recommendations for the President on “Launch Day,” can be read below:

roll 8931102

Colonel Borman followed up his July 12 recommendation with one two days later, proposing that the Star Spangled Banner not be played in conjunction with the planned split screen television presentation while the crew was on the lunar surface. It so happened that the country’s national anthem was not played during the television broadcast, demonstrating President Nixon’s confidence in Colonel Borman’s expert opinion.

roll 8931083

It was only fitting then, that President Nixon watched the Apollo 11 launch with Colonel Borman in his little office at the White House.


Colonel Frank Borman joins President Nixon while the two watch the launch of Apollo 11.