Neil Armstrong: Modern American Hero

Neil Armstrong: Modern American Hero


Neil Armstrong: Modern American Hero

Neil Armstrong was born in August of 1930 in Wapakoneta, Ohio with dreams of taking flight from a young age. At two years old, his father took him to the Cleveland Air Races, inspiring the young Armstrong to someday take to the sky himself. At five or six, he had the opportunity to fly for the first time when he and his father took a ride in a Ford Trimotor. Flying lessons finally came when he was in high school at the Wapakoneta airfield and he earned a student flight certificate on his 16th birthday, followed by his first solo flight shortly thereafter.


Rare Blume High School Class of 1947 yearbook, signed by Neil Armstrong as a graduating senior.


His childhood dreams led him to pursue a degree in aeronautical engineering from Purdue University and become a naval aviator during the Korean War, in which he flew the Grumman F9F Panther from the aircraft carrier USS Essex. After the war, he became a test pilot at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics High-Speed Flight Station at Edwards Air Force Base in California. During this time, he participated in a number of aeronautical programs including the U.S. Air Force’s Man in Space Soonest and X-20 Dyna-Soar human spaceflight.


Rare large format glossy color print of the July 20, 1969 photograph of Neil Armstrong reflected in the helmet visor of Buzz Aldrin on the surface of the moon, signed by Apollo II Capsule Communicator (CAPCOM) Charlie Duke.


His journey to NASA, for which he is best known today, began in 1962 when he joined the NASA Astronaut Corps in the second group. This led to his first spaceflight as command pilot of Gemini 8 in 1966, which made him NASA’s first civilian astronaut to fly in space. His early days as an astronaut had their fair share of scares; during the docking of two spacecraft with the Gemini 8 mission, a stuck thruster led to an extremely dangerous roll of the spacecraft that he was able to stabilize. He was also ejected from the Lunar Landing Research Vehicle as commander of the Apollo 11 mission mere moments before a crash.


Official NASA color photograph of the iconic ‘Earthrise‘ image taken during the Apollo 11 mission, signed by the first man to set foot on the lunar surface, Neil Armstrong.


History was made in the life of Armstrong, in United States history, and in world history altogether when he and Buzz Aldrin became the first people to land on the moon on July 20, 1969.


Rare original Delaware Evening Journal featuring the headline “Eagle Jets Safely Off Moon; In Orbit for Rendezvous”, a front page article on the Apollo 11 moon landing, and large photograph of Neil Armstrong collecting dirt on the lunar surface. Boldly signed by Neil Armstrong on his photograph.


They spent two and a half hours outside the Lunar Modula Eagle spacecraft, and Armstrong met the momentous occasion of first stepping foot on the moon by very famously saying, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” The moon landing was broadcast live to 530 million viewers worldwide and won the United States a victory in the Space Race against the Soviet Union.


Original color photograph of Neil Armstrong, boldly inscribed by him.


After the Apollo 11 mission, Armstrong stated publicly that he did not intend to fly in space again. He became Deputy Associate Administrator for Aeronautics for the Office of Advanced Research and Technology at ARPA and served in the position for a year before resigning from it and NASA in 1971. He then accepted a teaching position in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Cincinnati. He made a brief return to NASA in 1970 to join Edgar Cortright’s investigation of the Apollo 13 mission’s explosion that led to an aborted lunar landing. This role was later reprised when President Ronald Reagan requested that Armstrong join the Rogers Commission investigating the 1986 Challenger disaster, which all seven crew members died. Armstrong also attended the memorial service for the victims of the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster in 2003 at the invitation of President George W. Bush.


Signed limited lithographic print of Paul Calle’s pencil sketch of Neil Armstrong captured as he suited up on July 16, 1969 in preparation for his launch to the moon. Calle was one of eight artists chosen by NASA in 1962 to document the U.S. space program and was the only artist present when the crew of Apollo 11 prepared to enter the spacecraft for their historic mission.


Following the lunar landing, Armstrong was forever immortalized as an American hero. He was the recipient of numerous awards and countless schools, buildings, streets, a lunar crater, an asteroid, and even the minerals armstrongite and armalcolite are named after him.


The artist’s proof of Paul Calle’s famous image of Neil Armstrong setting foot on the moon which was featured on the 1969 10¢ stamp.


The 1970 book First on the Moon: A Voyage with Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr. is a comprehensive summary of all the events leading up to and during the Apollo 11 mission.


Early printing of First on the Moon, which describes the events leading up to and during the Apollo 11 mission, the first manned landing on the Moon. Signed by Armstrong’s partner in the mission and the second person to step on the moon, Buzz Aldrin.


Armstrong’s authorized biography, First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong, was published in 2005. In 2018, it was adapted into a film by the same name starring Ryan Gosling and Claire Foy.


First edition of Singer’s annotated screenplay of First Man, based on the life of Neil Armstrong, signed by Josh Singer on title page.


In addition to the rare pieces related to Neil Armstrong featured above, our collection currently includes several framed photographs and first editions signed by NASA Astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Michael Collins, and many others.

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