Fri. Sep 20th, 2019

They are some of the most famous words of the 20th century: “One small step for a man; one giant leap for mankind.”But have you ever wondered the origin about that iconic phrase?WESH 2’s Dan Billow has uncovered rarely-seen video of the 1969 press corps, led by Walter Cronkite, trying to wring that answer from a stubborn Neil Armstrong.Two days before liftoff of Apollo 11, July 14, 1969, the astronauts met reporters who wanted to know what Armstrong would say when he walked on the moon.”Will you prepare something ahead of time, or will it be prepared for you, or can we expect a spontaneous exclamation?” asked Joel Shurkin of Reuters.”Certainly nothing has been prepared for me,” Armstrong said.Armstrong insisted he had not given it much thought. CBS’s Walter Cronkite was having none of that.”I’m sure that, ‘Oh, boy,’ will be an understandable reaction when you get down there, but the world is probably expecting more than that,” Cronkite said. “You must have had thousands and thousands of suggestions, and some of them from some pretty high places, haven’t you?””We really haven’t had the time or opportunity to give those suggestions the attention they’re due,” Armstrong said.”Haven’t the public relations people suggested anything to you, Neil?””No, they haven’t,” Armstrong said.In fact, for Armstrong, walking on the moon was a piece of cake compared to the far more difficult task of landing a spacecraft on it. In his authorized biography, Armstrong tells the author he found a few minutes after touchdown, during spacewalk preparations, to think of a little something.”That’s one small step for a man; one giant leap for mankind.”And believe it or not, that’s when those famous words were composed.

They are some of the most famous words of the 20th century: “One small step for a man; one giant leap for mankind.”

But have you ever wondered the origin about that iconic phrase?

WESH 2’s Dan Billow has uncovered rarely-seen video of the 1969 press corps, led by Walter Cronkite, trying to wring that answer from a stubborn Neil Armstrong.

Two days before liftoff of Apollo 11, July 14, 1969, the astronauts met reporters who wanted to know what Armstrong would say when he walked on the moon.

“Will you prepare something ahead of time, or will it be prepared for you, or can we expect a spontaneous exclamation?” asked Joel Shurkin of Reuters.

“Certainly nothing has been prepared for me,” Armstrong said.

Armstrong insisted he had not given it much thought.

CBS’s Walter Cronkite was having none of that.

“I’m sure that, ‘Oh, boy,’ will be an understandable reaction when you get down there, but the world is probably expecting more than that,” Cronkite said. “You must have had thousands and thousands of suggestions, and some of them from some pretty high places, haven’t you?”

“We really haven’t had the time or opportunity to give those suggestions the attention they’re due,” Armstrong said.

“Haven’t the public relations people suggested anything to you, Neil?”

“No, they haven’t,” Armstrong said.

In fact, for Armstrong, walking on the moon was a piece of cake compared to the far more difficult task of landing a spacecraft on it.

In his authorized biography, Armstrong tells the author he found a few minutes after touchdown, during spacewalk preparations, to think

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