The Marine Band Celebrates the Apollo Crew
My thanks to “The President’s Own” Public Affairs Office in D.C. for sending me the following:
This week marks the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing on July 20, 1969. On that space mission, astronauts Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong became the first humans to step foot on the moon, while astronaut Michael Collins orbited above.
In honor of that momentous event, President Richard Nixon hosted a state dinner on Aug. 13, 1969, in Los Angeles for the three Apollo 11 astronauts with music provided by the Marine Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Assistant Director Captain Dale L. Harpham.
Members of Congress, governors, and many ambassadors from around the world attended the dinner and each astronaut received the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Almost 30 years later, in October 1998, Senator John Glenn, a retired U.S. Marine Corps colonel and former crew member of the Space Shuttle Discovery, took the Marine Band recording At the White House with him into orbit during Discovery’s 92nd space flight.
The CD traveled with the crew for 3.6 million miles and orbited Earth 134 times. Glenn later presented the CD with his signature as a gift to the Marine Band along with a certificate authenticating its journey into space, signed by the rest of the 1998 Discovery crew.