Citizens celebrate 50th anniversary of moon landing

By Claire Schnatterbeck
The Sheridan Press

On July 20, 1969, 500 million heads turned to television screens and millions of hearts beat in anticipation for the first moon landing by the Apollo 11 crew. People around the world watched as Neil Armstrong took the first steps on the moon’s surface and uttered the famous line, “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” Those first steps changed American culture and space exploration forever.

Now, on the 50th anniversary of that event, American citizens look back at years of progress and years of their own lives. They also look forward toward the future of space travel.

Sheridan local Barbara Hill has vivid memories about the day of the moon landing. She and her family were living in Central City, a small coal mining town in the Rocky Mountains.

As the landing drew near, Hill remembers hearing calls of “It’s getting close, it’s getting close!” Around 15 people crowded together at the camp she was staying at to get a view of the small, grainy black-and-white television. They watched as Neil Armstrong took the first steps and spoke his famous words. Hill recalled the excitement in the room.

“We all cheered as if we were on the moon with him,” she said.

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