Events mark historic 1969 moon landing
By Reggie Ponder and Julian Eure
Sunday, July 21, 2019
Museum of The Albemarle is continuing an emphasis on the anniversary of the moon landing with a History for Lunch event July 24 that will examine North Carolina’s role in the space race.
The program will be presented by Jessica A. Bandel, digital editor with the N.C. Office of Archives and History. The presentation is scheduled to begin at 12:15 p.m. on July 24.
This talk, titled “One Giant Leap,” is the museum’s second History for Lunch event for July. On July 3 Sandra Krueger and Rachel Cragson presented “Singing America’s Songs.”
In addition to Bandel’s program on July 24, the space theme will also continue with the children’s movie presentation “Fly Me to the Moon” at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. on July 25.
Bandel’s presentation in Elizabeth City comes on the heels of a major event Saturday, June 20 at the N.C. Museum of History in Raleigh.
“One Giant Leap” is not only the title of Bandel’s program at MOA, but also the name of the lobby exhibit at the N.C. Museum of History.
“‘One Giant Leap: North Carolina and the Space Race’ will be a 1,500 square foot lobby exhibit that explores North Carolina’s role in the space race, containing stories about the people, places, chimps, and things that helped make America’s historic leap to the Moon,” according to information on the N.C. Museum of History website.
The Dismal Swamp State Park near South Mills will also be marking the 50th anniversary of the moon landing with a special event on Saturday, July 27.
Ranger Katie Sanford of the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation said the kid-friendly event will get underway at 11 a.m. with a reading of the story “Margaret and the Moon: How Margaret Hamilton Saved the First Lunar Landing.”
The book by Dean Robbins and illustrated by Lucy Knisley tells the true story of Margaret Hamilton, a NASA employee who hand-wrote the code that allowed the spacecraft on the Apollo 8, 9, 10 and 11 missions to solve any problems they encountered.
Attendees will then get to build their own space rockets that they get to take home, Sanford said.
The next activity will be “Toad in the Moon,” a discussion about the different things people see in the moon.
After snacks that will include — what else? Moon pies —James Reynolds, the new director of Elizabeth City State University’s Khan Planetarium, will give a presentation that will feature a portable planetarium and some daytime telescopes.
Sanford may also give participants a “take-home” assignment to interview someone who remembers the Apollo 11 moon landing on July 20, 1969.
According to Sanford, Dismal Swamp State Park is hosting the lunar landing anniversary event in conjunction with its participation as a “Star Party” host. The park is one of the few state parks in the region that participate in the Star Parties, the last of which was held in April.
Between 20-30 people typically attend the Star Parties. Sanford is hoping for a good turnout for the lunar landing anniversary event.
“I’m hoping for good weather for it,” she said.