LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — It’s been 50 years since that “small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” and there’s no shortage of ways for Southern Californians to celebrate the July 20, 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing.
A number of family-friendly anniversary events are underway this weekend across the Southland, many of them free.
The Richard Nixon Presidential Library in Yorba Linda will be free and open to the public from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m Saturday and family-friendly activities will be offered all day. Free admission includes tours of the special exhibition “Apollo 11: One Giant Leap for Mankind” which brings the mission to life with moon rocks, astronaut suits, an exact replica of the command module, and perhaps most interestingly, a speech prepared for Nixon in case the lunar landing ended in disaster. And at 8 p.m., President Richard Nixon’s historic phone call to the astronauts will be relived with a special appearance by Alex Eisenhower, Nixon’s grandson.
The Columbia Memorial Space Center in Downey, located on the NASA site where all of the Apollo spacecraft that took astronauts to the moon were created, is also offering free admission Saturday and marking the anniversary with hands-on Apollo 11 exhibits and discussions with the engineers behind the historic mission.
The Griffith Observatory is presenting “To Walk on the Moon: Past, Present, and Future,” a day-long series of free talks about Apollo 11 and NASA’s plan to return astronauts to the moon by 2024.
Celebrations at the The California Science Center include screenings of the IMAX film “Apollo 11: First Steps Edition” and free, kid-friendly exhibits, including space capsules, moon rocks, and space suits.