July 20 is a big day to reminisce as astronaut Neil Armstrong stepped onto the surface of the moon for the first time on July 20 1969. He stepped down from Apollo 11's lunar module and touched moon. Armstrong is the first human in history to do so.
By touching down on the lunar surface, Armstrong and his fellow Apollo 11 crew members Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins changed the course of history and inspired generations across the world.
The journey to the moon stretched back several years. President John F. Kennedy, in 1961, gave a speech to congress, asking for a strong space exploration program that would send a man onto the moon’s surface to explore it. The speech was in the wake of Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin becoming the first man to enter outer space and just shortly after Alan Shepard becoming the first American to enter space.
Furthermore, in 1962, President Kennedy spoke at Rice University in Houston, stressing the national goal to reach the moon. "We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard," Kennedy stated. "Because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too,” he said.
Subsequently in 1969 Kennedy's dream was realized with Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins' successful mission. When Armstrong stepped down onto the lunar surface, he uttered the immortal words "that's one small step (a) man, one giant leap for mankind."
The powerful trio returned to the planet Earth as heroes, with their successful voyage considered one of the greatest accomplishments in history. Ever since then, humanity's space exploration has widened exponentially, with Armstrong and the Apollo 11 crew's expedition having inspired innumerable generations to reach for the stars.