NASA landed the first man on the Moon half-a-century ago on the night of July 20, 1969. Led by astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin, an estimated 600 million people were transfixed on their TV sets that day. Apollo 11 was hailed the greatest achievement of the 20th century and is fondly remembered by those who watched the mission unfold live. Now, with the 50th anniversary of the Moon landing only three days away, people living in a Surrey care home have shared their memories of the lunar landing.
Care home residents at the Huntington and Langham Estate in Hindhead, Surrey, remember Commander Armstrong’s “one small step” very well after 50 years.
Barbara, 89, a former hairdresser from Rowledge, remembers being amazed by the lunar landing.
She said; “I can’t believe it was nearly 50 years ago, the time has just flown.
“I thought it was amazing, it didn’t seem real at all. It was magnificent.
“I knew it was real. Keith was a scientist and he explained a lot to me.”
And resident Adrienne, a 73-year-old former teacher from Sale in Chesire, had a chance to watch the Moon landing in a classroom full of pupils.
She said: “I remember it very well, I was 23 – it was the year before I got married.
“We watched it all on the TV with the children. I’m sure it made an impression on them.
“I was very excited. I really believed it was happening.
“I remember thinking it was marvellous, just wonderful.”
A recent poll of Moon landing deniers in the US found those who watched the Apollo 11 launch live on the day were least likely to believe hox conspiracies.
Younger generations, however, made up the highest percentage of Moon landing deniers surveyed.
Louise Blezzard, manager at Huntington and Langham Estate, said: “Memory is an incredibly powerful tool, especially for people living in a care environment.
“It’s been fascinating to listen to everyone share their memories of the moon landings.
“It was such a historic occasion, so it’s wonderful to hear about what it was like, at the time, from those who watched it all unfold.”
Astronauts Armstrong and Aldrin landed on the Moon on July 20, 1969, while Command Module Pilot Michael Collins stayed in lunar orbit.
The three men returned to Earth four days later, on July 24, where they were greeted as heroes.