50th Anniversary - Apollo 11
On July 20, 1969, the United States of America accomplished a feat of impossibilities by landing the Apollo Lunar Module Eagle on the moon. Florida played a key role in this achievement by serving as the Apollo 11 mission's physical launchpad for the nation.
The Florida Department of State recognizes Florida's role in this historical achievement and celebrates the people and businesses who worked so hard to realize this brave mission.
The department will be offering a number of opportunities and events to mark the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission. Check out this list below and find out how you can be a part of this celebration!
Summer Reading Programs
Swing by the Museum of Florida History for your reading lists, and while you're there, be sure to check out the special space related artifacts that will be on display from June 14 - August. You may want to plan your visit around the Museum's special Summer Reading Story Hours. Story Hours for the dates listed below all begin at 10:30 a.m.
- June 27 - Exploring the Universe
- July 11 - Look to the Stars
- July 18 - Astronauts
- July 25 - Spaceships and Rockets
Special Event Days
July 1 - September 30
The Division of Cultural Affairs has curated an intimate moon/space themed exhibit in the lobby the R.A. Gray Building. Swing by to see paintings by the Florida Highwaymen, a metal sculpture entitled "Coordinates of Florida" by artist Rafael Picon and a player piano shaped like a rocket ship (courtesy of Jim's Pianos).
Knott House Museum will host its Summer Poetry Workshop for grades 8-12. Many poems, songs and writings reference the moon, and these workshops will explore some of those moon-related writings. At the workshop, young poets will refine their writing skills, read and evaluate poetry and find their own voice as a poet. Costs and more information can be found here.
Visit the State Library and Archives on the second floor of the R.A. Gray building on July 13, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. for special Saturday Research hours. While you're there, be sure to check out the Library's lobby display case filled with space-related materials from the collections of the State Library and Archives.
Join The Grove Museum at 5:30 PM for History Happy Hour! Special guest historians from the State Archives of Florida who will discuss how the space industry transformed Florida's image in popular culture, aided by the work of individuals like Governor LeRoy Collins who played an active role in shaping modern Florida. Costs and more information can be found here.
The moon and stars have long been important markers for travel. Join Mission San Luis to experience how Native Americans and Spaniards travelled for centuries using celestial objects, tools and their ingenuity. Enjoy living history, interactive activities, and take-home crafts that highlight navigation and trade in 16th and 17th century Florida. The Tallahassee Astronomical Society will be on-site with a solar telescope for day-time sky viewing, and WFSU will have a fun space activity and will be in the Mission San Luis theater showing a screening of Ready, Jet, Go! the PBS special on the moon landing. Complete the celebration with an astronaut ice cream party (including regular earth ice cream as well)!
Join the Museum of Florida History from 12:00 noon - 12:45 for History at High Noon: Space and the Sunshine State. The Museum is excited to host Michelle Sunset, Exhibit Manager at Florida Historic Capitol Museum who will highlight a recently opened exhibit in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission. We'll also discuss Florida-specific stories that relate to the history of travel.
TEACHERS! - This one is for you! Explore the Florida Memory Classroom Learning Unit, "NASA and the Space Program Change Florida." This unit provides an introduction to Florida’s involvement in the Space Age through photographs, videos and primary source documents.
Print your own coloring page! - This image is a from a detail from artist Christopher Still's "A New Age" which depicts how Florida shaped the past and is shaping the future, including how the state has been instrumental in the development of space travel. This original painting along with 9 other accompanying painted murals by Mr. Still feature the history of the State and are currently installed in the Florida House of Representatives chambers in Tallahassee. Click here to download and/or print the coloring page and get creative. Then swing by the House chambers to see the original murals for yourself!