Lunar Sample Curator Celebrates Apollo 11 Anniversary in Washington, D.C.
By Linda Watts
An Apollo 11 vesicular basalt was presented to President Clinton in the oval office for a long-term display by the Apollo 11 Crew, Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Mike Collins on July 20th as part of the 30th Anniversary celebration of the mission.
Dr. Gary Lofgren, Lunar Sample Curator, transported the display containing 10057,30 to Washington, D.C. He, with the display under his constant protection, accompanied the Apollo 11 crew to the 30th Anniversary ceremony at the Air and Space Museum. During this ceremony Vice President Gore presented Langley Medals to each of the Apollo 11 crew members. The Langley Medal was instituted at the suggestion of Alexander Graham Bell to honor Samuel P. Langley. The Medal is awarded for “meritorious investigations in connection with the science of aerodromics and its application to aviation.” Previous recipients include the Wright Brothers, Glenn Curtiss, Charles Lindbergh, Robert Goddard and Wernher von Braun.
After the Air and Space Museum ceremony, Dr. Lofgren entered the White House with the Apollo 11 crew. In the Oval Office the crew presented the lunar sample display to President Clinton. The President was reported to be enthused about receiving the sample on behalf of the White House.
Dr. Lofgren had many interesting experiences while accompanying the crew in Washington, DC.
After the White House ceremony, Buzz Aldrin flew to Chicago for another anniversary ceremony. He spoke at the dedication of The Chicago Tribune’s new Apollo 11 exhibit. The central item in the exhibit is another long-term lunar sample display provided by the Curator and his staff.