The most famous telephone call in history
APOLLO 11, crew signed. Photograph of a television screen, split, one side with Nixon on the phone and the other with Armstrong and Aldrin on moon
No place, 1969
Approx 7 x 8 1⁄2 in, black and white.
Signed by Nixon, Collins, Aldrin (adding “We came in peace for all mankind Apollo 11”) and Armstrong (“To Claude Harkins with best wishes Neil Armstrong”).
Soon after stepping onto the moon, Armstrong and Aldrin spoke with President Nixon by telephone in what Nixon called “the most historic phone call ever made from the White House.” In his diary Nixon wrote, “The President held an interplanetary conversation with Apollo 11 Astronauts, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin on the Moon.” The split television screen image was broadcast by the television networks.
Nixon’s chief of staff H. R. Haldeman noted that the president was elated by the moon landing, “clapped and shouted ‘Hooray’” when Armstrong stepped on the moon’s surface, and wrote his own remarks for the event. The following day Nixon reinstated his ban on the New York Times, “mainly due to Moon TV editorial which was uncalled for. The editorial berated the president for sharing the stage with the astronauts and wasting their precious time with his direct link conversation” (Haldeman Diaries).