COLUMBUS — Pending approval in the Ohio Senate, one week in July will be designated “One Small Step Week” with the passage in the Ohio House of Representatives of legislation recognizing Wapakoneta native Neil Armstrong’s historic lunar landing nearly 50 years ago.
State Rep. Craig S. Riedel, R-Defiance, applauded the House’s passage of legislation he sponsored that would name the calendar week that includes July 20 as “One Small Step Week” after Neil Armstrong’s famous quote.
He said the legislation “will bring attention to what is often cited as one of the greatest accomplishments of the 20th century.”
Apollo 11 launched from Cape Kennedy on July 16, 1969, with astronauts Michael Collins, Buzz Aldrin and Armstrong. Apollo 11 returned to Earth on July 24, 1969. It is estimated that 530 million people watched on July 20 when the lunar module landed on the surface of the moon and Armstrong spoke the words, “…one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”
After Apollo 11 returned safely home, Ohio Governor James Rhodes proposed a museum be built as a monument to the achievement. The state of Ohio paid $500,000 for the project and the residents of Wapakoneta raised an additional $528,000. On July 20, 1972, the Armstrong Air and Space Museum was opened to the public.
“House Bill 721 will add to the preparation of the 50th anniversary celebration this summer,” Riedel said. “My goal is to secure additional funding to enhance the occasion for all Ohioans.”
House Bill 721 passed the House with a vote of 87-0 and will now go to the Senate for further consideration.
Reach J Swygart at 567-242-0464.