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Congressional Reactions to the Moon Landing in the Bound Congressional Record

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The Bound Congressional Record on now provides coverage back to 1899. We have previously brought you posts that explore congressional reactions to historic moments in American history, including congressional reactions to the launch of the Soviet satellite, Sputnik.

Today, we take a look at congressional reactions to the moon landing, specifically the return of the Apollo 11 astronauts, the first crewed moon landing. Here is how you can search for and find congressional reactions to historic moments in American history. From the global search box drop-down menu, choose Congressional Record. I chose the search terms, “moon landing” and I put them in quotation marks to search for them as an exact phrase. On the results screen, I clicked “show keywords in context” at the top left, so I could see snippets of where my search terms appeared underneath each result. This spared me the time of clicking on each individual result. Next, because the moon landing occurred on July 20, 1969, I used the filter menu on the left to narrow down to the relevant Congress, which is the 91st Congress. I then sorted my results by date. You can take a look at the results here.

President Nixon congratulating the Apollo 11 astronauts through the back window of a mobile quarantine van. Photograph in black in white.
President Nixon congratulates astronauts through the window of the mobile quarantine van located in the hangar deck. U.S.S. Hornet, Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Sinclair Inlet, Bremerton, Kitsap County, WA. July 24, 1969. National Archives No. 428-KN-18088. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

I was particularly interested in Senator Young’s speech, which appeared in the July 24, 1969 issue of the Bound Congressional Record. Senator Young welcomed the astronauts back and mentioned that Neil Armstrong actually obtained a pilot’s license before he had a driver’s license! If you find interesting congressional reactions to historic events in American history, let us know in the comments.

A newspaper clipping featuring Senator Young's speech congratulating the returning astronauts.
An excerpt from Senator Young’s speech in the July 24, 1969 issue of the Bound Congressional Record.

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