Apollo 11 crew

The Apollo 11 lunar crew leaves the Kennedy Space Center's Manned Spacecraft Operations Building during the pre-launch countdown. Astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, commander; Michael Collins, command module pilot; and Edwin E. Aldrin Jr., lunar module pilot, prepare ride the special transport van over to Launch Complex 39A where their spacecraft awaited them. Liftoff was at 9:32 a.m. (EDT), July 16, 1969.

On a warm summer afternoon, July 20, 1969, at 4:17 p.m. local time to be exact, America landed a manned spacecraft on the room.

A breathless world heard American astronaut Neil Armstrong tell mission controllers, "Houston ... uhh ... Tranquility Base here ... the Eagle has landed."

Less than seven hours later, the Ohio-native Armstrong, some 240,000 miles from home, stepped onto the moon's surface as a billion people watched and listened back on Earth.

“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

If you were alive during that momentous day and night, Richland Source wants to know what you remember about that time.

Where were you when the Eagle landed? What were you doing? Did you watch and listen as Armstrong became the first human to walk on the moon? What do you recall thinking, feeling, experiencing?

Richland Source plans a three-day package of stories and photos July 18 to 20 to mark the 50th anniversary of the lunar landing. We will start where it all began -- when a Russian satellite named Sputnik alarmed America by circling the globe in 1957.

We will recall a bold, perhaps even brash, young American president who defiantly pledged in 1962 that America would go to the moon and safely return by the end of the decade.

JFK at Rice University

U.S. President John F. Kennedy speaks at the Rice University football stadium on Sept. 12, 1962, telling 40,000 people, "We choose to go to the Moon!"

We will recount the glories -- and tragedies -- of projects Mercury, Gemini and Apollo and the scientists and astronauts who made them work.

But we want you to be a part of it. Tell us your memories of the day the Eagle landed and the night Amstrong stepped onto the moon. 

E-mail City Editor Carl Hunnell at Carl.Hunnell@RichlandSource.com with your memories and even photos from that famous date in history.

"I was 8 years old," Hunnell said. "I was living in south Georgia and, if my memory isn't too foggy, it was a Sunday and we spent the day with another family on a river, playing on and around a sandbar.

"My dad was in the Navy and he had a special pride in the space program and astronauts like Armstrong, an Ohio boy who also served in the Navy. We had a radio with us during the day and heard the news we had landed on the moon.

"I remember coming home at the end of the day and not having to argue too much with my parents to stay up late to watch fuzzy images on TV as Armstrong stepped onto the moon just before 11 p.m.. It was amazing to me."

So, what do you recall? It's an American story. It's your story. Tell it with us. It doesn't need to be elaborate or finely detailed. Share it and we will package your memories to run with the series.

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