Editor's note: We asked Mercury readers to share their memories of the Apollo 11 moon landing, the 50th anniversary of which was Saturday.
“I was a U.S. letter carrier delivering mail in Manhattan on Colorado Street. A man yelled at me, ‘Come in now and see the astronaut step on the moon.’ I had spent four years in the U.S. Air Force and had always been interested in space. I was amazed and proud to see the astronaut step on the moon and leave his footprint. I thanked the man for letting me see this historical moment. My older step-brother, Billy Dale, who grew up in Manhattan too, worked for NASA. He and another built the camera that took many photos on the moon. The one I liked best was the astronaut standing next to the American flag.”
— Melvin Dale
“It was my 15th birthday. I remember the astronauts were allowed to leave the lunar module earlier than planned or they would have walked on the 21st. Our next door neighbor, a school teacher, told me that Lindbergh crossed the ocean on her 15th birthday, and I have always thought how neat that was we both had 15th birthdays that had historical events. I laugh because my two daughters always got this test question right in school.”
— Roslyn Lewis
“The evening of the Moon landing, I was an Army ROTC Cadet at Fort Riley. We didn’t get much news about the moon landing, but we knew it was coming. Thirty to forty of us were gathered around a small TV to watch the event. It was the first and last time we watched TV during the eight-week training.
As cadets, we learned quickly that when an order of any kind was issued, regardless if it was given to an individual or to a group, action was taken quickly. Always!
That evening, a leader stepped into the TV room and barked, ‘Everyone! Back to the barracks, NOW!’
The order came again, this time with sprinkles of ‘blankety-blank’ words added. Still no movement, but a few people tossed a suggestion to the leader what he could do with his order. The final results: we watched the moon landing! Later that evening, we were back in form, ready to respond to Mr. Blankety-Blank’s orders. A few weeks later, we all returned home, eager for our hair to go back. And eager to hear and see the rest of that great event from that wonderful day.”
— Bob Stamey
“I was sitting with my future wife on the floor of my mom’s apartment in San Diego. I was in the Navy at the time and was getting orders to go to Vietnam that November.”
— Michael Sanford
“I got off work at the hospital and had to wait up after 1 a.m.”
— Sondra Kubin
“I was just back from Vietnam. The worst for an American to the best.”
— Bob Strawn
"Our son Ned was less than 2 years old during the moon landing, and we didn't think he was really getting any of it, but then he said 'Dada, moo moo (moon moon), night night.'"
— Ed Seaton, chairman of the board for the Mercury