Freedom!! On this day in 1969:
“The three Apollo 11 astronauts, pronounced free of any lunar contamination, were released tonight from the quarantine quarters in which they had lived since they returned from their moon-landing flight last month.
Neil A. Armstrong, the civilian commander, and Col. Edwin E. Aldrin Jr. and Col. Michael Collins of the Air Force walked out of the Lunar Receiving Laboratory here at 10:05 P.M., Eastern daylight time.
They were wearing sport shirts and broad smiles. They carried small overnight suitcases. They waved at the crowd of 250 persons, mostly space agency employees, newsmen and television cameramen.
Colonel Aldrin reached across a rope to shake hands with a spectator and was overheard to say, ‘I need a little sun and a haircut.’ Only Mr. Armstrong, who turned 39 years old during the quarantine, paused at a microphone to address the crowd.
After thanking his hosts — the technicians running the laboratory — Mr. Armstrong smiled and said, ‘I can’t say I would choose to spend a couple of weeks like that, but I’m very glad we got the opportunity to complete the mission.’
Then the three astronauts drove away in separate station wagons for reunions with their families for the first time since before the launching of Apollo 11 on July 16…
Twenty other people who had worked in the quarantine area with the astronauts followed them out the door. Each carried handbags and autographed pictures of the Apollo 11 crewmen…
After a day with their families, the astronauts are scheduled to begin a strenuous week of news conferences, parades and other celebrations…”
“Quarantine Is Over for Three Astronauts,” Monday, August 11, 1969 (New York Times)
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