Richard Nixon photo

Remarks Welcoming the Apollo 11 Astronauts Following Their Goodwill Tour.

November 05, 1969

IT IS my privilege to speak for all of the American people in expressing the heartfelt thanks of this Nation to the Armstrongs, the Aldrins, and the Collinses for what I think is the most successful goodwill trip in the history of the United States of America.

We have noted from the press the magnificent receptions they have received all over the world, in Asia, in Africa, in Latin America, and in Europe. We know that the crowd gathered here on the White House lawn is not as large as some you have seen, but the hearts of the American people are here, and through us, we are trying to indicate to you our appreciation, not only for what you did in your travel to the moon, but also what you did for the cause of peace and better understanding through your travel on this earth.

Certainly the first men ever to land on the moon have demonstrated that they are the best possible ambassadors America could have on this earth.

Finally, I do know that over these past few weeks you had long hours, many speeches, lots of entertainment, and lots of protocol. I think those listening here and on television and radio would be interested to know what the plans are for the rest of the day.

We have invited our astronauts and their wives to come to the White House, spend the afternoon and the evening, a quiet dinner, and spend the night. We think that after all they have done publicly, it is time that they had an evening by themselves and why not in "everybody's house," the White House of the United States of America.

I think all of us would like to have Neil Armstrong say a word on behalf of his colleagues and .their wives.

So if you would like to say a word, we would like to hear from you.

Note: The President spoke at 3:27 p.m. on the South Lawn at the White House, where he welcomed Apollo 11 astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, Col. Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., and Col. Michael Collins and their wives following their 38-day goodwill tour of 22 countries.

The remarks of Neil A. Armstrong are printed in the Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (vol. 5, P. 1563).

Richard Nixon, Remarks Welcoming the Apollo 11 Astronauts Following Their Goodwill Tour. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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