On July 20, 1969, with more than half a billion people watching on television, Neil Armstrong became the first person to step foot on the moon proclaiming the words, "That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind." The Apollo 11 mission captured the imagination of a generation.
On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy announced the goal of sending astronauts to the moon before the end of the decade. Eight years later that dream became a reality as the swing arms moved away and a plume of flame signaled the liftoff of the Apollo 11 carrying astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin E. "Buzz" Aldrin Jr from Kennedy Space Center Launch Complex 39A to the moon.
Here, astronaut Neil Armstrong, left, displays a plaque that would be attached to a landing leg of the lunar module "Eagle" descent stage and left on the moon by the Apollo 11 astronauts as Col. Buzz Aldrin, center, holds the Apollo 11 insignia at a news conference at the Space Center. Command Module pilot Lt. Col. Michael Collins is at right. The plaque reads, "Here men from the planet Earth first set foot upon the moon. July 1969 A.D. We came in peace for all mankind."