Celebrating ‘one giant leap for mankind’

Crystal R. Albers/Torrington Telegram Representatives from across the county plan events surrounding the Apollo 11 Lunar Landing 50th anniversary. Those pictured include, from left, Geri Zeimens, Jennifer Lanier, Donna White, Joan Brinkley, Mary Houser, and Eric Valencia.

GOSHEN COUNTY – Space-enthusiasts, historians, and proud Americans across the country are “over the moon” regarding the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission’s 50th anniversary this summer. Goshen County residents are no exception to the enthusiasm, as several local groups and individuals have been meeting monthly to develop activities to celebrate the landing. 

On July 20, 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon – marking the first time humans have set foot on a planet other than Earth.

Last week, in honor of this historic event, representatives from various groups, including Jennifer Lanier of Fort Laramie; Donna White, Eastern Wyoming College; Eric Valencia, Fort Laramie National Historic Site; Joan Brinkley, Goshen County Library; Geri Zeimens, Western History Center; and Mary Houser, Wyoming Historical Association, met at EWC to discuss upcoming plans.

While still in the preliminary planning stages, a list of activities continues to grow, and includes a Cozmicon Saturday and Sunday, July 13 and 14, at 21st in Main in Torrington. The event, modeled after “Comic-Cons,” encourages attendees to dress up as their favorite cosmic superheroes or forces, and will feature face painting, movies, contests, displays, traveling speakers, food, giveaways, a meteorite on display, and a large telescope available for viewing.

“Wyoming has never done an event quite like this one,“ Zeimens said.

Also on July 13, FLNHS plans to have a unit from the U.S. Army offering a living history cavalry exhibition, in addition to regularly scheduled events throughout the summer.

Musical artist Dino O’Dell will kick off the library’s space-themed summer reading program in June, and the area hopes to host the Warren Air Force Base at local education centers in May and July.

In addition, a calendar of sky events for the summer is as follows: Jupiter and Saturn will be the best planets to view throughout July and August; July 16 is a full moon; July 28-29 is the peak of the Delta Aquarids Meteor Shower; Aug. 1 is the new moon; and Aug. 12-13 is the peak of the Perseid Meteor Shower.

“Our aim is to have multiple events in the area over a period of time, celebrating the skies, the Apollo Mission and the moon,” Lanier said. “Planning is still in the early stages, and enthusiasm is high. We continue to reach out to other groups about the possibility of them incorporating their events with the lunar theme as appropriate.”

Look for an upcoming Telegram article for more details as they become available.

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