One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. Almost anyone who was older than five on July 20, 1969 remembers what they were doing when astronaut Neil Armstrong walked around on the moon.
South Carolina State Museum Marketing Director Tut Underwood remembers. He was a teenager sitting on the couch with his family, watching a scratchy black and white television.
“If I recall correctly, I was sitting on the sofa with my family watching the moon landing,” said Underwood. “It was pretty inspirational.
“I was 15-years-old and just going to high school (and) listening to rock and roll and just excited as anybody else about the possibility of landing on the moon.”
The State Museum in Columbia honors the moon landings and other space explorations with permanent exhibits that chronicle the surprisingly large part South Carolina played. The collection’s crown jewel is a replica suit worn by Lancaster native Charles Duke as he walked across the moon’s surface. The Museum also features items from the space shuttle flight of Columbia’s Charles Bolden, recently appointed chief of NASA.
“Probably the most recognizable one is the moon suit. It’s a replica of the suit that Charles Duke from Lancaster wore on the moon in 1972 on the Apollo 16 mission. We used to have the actual suit but, as as a side, the Smithsonian Institution owns them all. They took it back for conservation but we got an exact replica,” according to Underwood.
Bolden is expected to be sworn into his new office in time for the special anniversary.