Mint Stamp Sheet Commemorates
JFK’s Role in Space Race
One of the most important objectives laid out by President John F. Kennedy during his administration was the race to the Moon. He said, “I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the earth.” This stamp sheet pictures JFK and the Apollo II mission.
On July 20, 1969, the United States fulfilled Kennedy’s goal when the first humans landed on the Lunar surface.
The landing module touched down in a place called “West Crater,” which was scattered with boulders. After the landing, Buzz Aldrin requested everyone “…to pause for a moment and contemplate the events of the past few hours and to give thanks in his or her own way.”
When U.S. astronaut Neil Armstrong set his left foot on the surface of the Moon at 10:56 p.m. EDT on July 20, 1969, he made what he famously described as, “…one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” Fellow astronaut Aldrin joined Armstrong on the surface and described the grand scene before him as “magnificent desolation.”
The Moonwalk wasn’t just symbolic – Armstrong and Aldrin had several tasks to perform. Among them was planting the American flag. The astronauts first had to get used to walking around on the Moon. They collected rock and dust samples and set out equipment to transmit temperature and other readings. Then they returned to the landing module and went to sleep.