July 17, 2019 1130 PM
The anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing is this week, and Marfa Public Library is celebrating a newly discovered link to the event. Neil Armstrong walked on the moon 50 years ago, and one year later, he walked the streets of Marfa, Texas.
After the 1969 launch, the mission’s astronauts penned “First on the Moon: A Voyage with Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr.” The library in Marfa has long held a copy of the book, but pulled it from the shelves about a year ago because they said the book was “looking so worn.”
It wasn’t until then that a library worker opened the book’s cover and discovered the copy was signed by Armstrong himself, and dated “28 June, 1970, Marfa, Texas.” Armstrong visited Marfa in 1970, and there is a photo of him near the Marfa lights viewing area.
However, that was not Armstrong’s first time in the Big Bend area. In February 1969, just five months before walking on the Moon, Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and a handful of other astronauts took a geological trip to west Texas. Armstrong used his extensive geological knowledge to later sample Moon rocks and forever change the way humans understand the universe.
As part of the library’s summer programming, Marfa children are invited to “astronaut training camp” at the library next Thursday, July 25.