Incredible leather-bound guest book flown aboard Richard Nixon's Air Force One (Boeing VC-137C SAM 26000), 12 x 9, signed inside by a variety of politicians and Apollo astronauts between May 3, 1969, and April 18, 1970, with many signers adding the date, a home address or affiliation, and a brief remark on their flight in ink or felt tip. Notable dates and signers include:
August 13, 1969: "Neil Armstrong, Seabrook, Texas, 8/13/69, A magnificent cross country experience," "Michael Collins, Houston, Texas, 8/13/69, Superb!," "Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., Houston, Texas, 8/13/69, Enjoyed every moment of the flt." Also signed by the wives of the three astronauts and NASA administrator Thomas Paine. On this date, the crew of Apollo 11 embarked on their massive 45-day 'Giant Leap' tour, beginning the day with ticker-tape parades in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, and then serving as the guest of honors at a dinner event hosted by President Nixon. These are arguably the first public signatures of the Apollo 11 crew post-lunar quarantine upon return from the moon.
April 11, 1970: "Lyndon B. Johnson, Johnson City, Texas, 4/11/70." On the day of the Apollo 13 launch, President Nixon flew Johnson back to his home state following the latter's first visit to Washington after leaving office. Additionally, Johnson was sworn in as president on the same plane roughly six years prior following the assassination of President Kennedy on November 22, 1963.
April 18, 1970: "Bill Anders, NASA, DC, 4-18-70," "M. Collins, Work, D.C., Apr 18," "Frank Borman, Seabrook, Texas, 4/18/70, A fine ride—thank you," and "Dr. J. Leonard Swigert, 1746 Kearney St., Denver, 4-18-70, What a beautiful ending." Also signed by Paine, several media and United States secret service members, and the wives of the Apollo 13 crew. After a successful splashdown in the South Pacific Ocean, the crew of Apollo 13 was brought to Hawaii before ultimately heading to the Ellington Air Force Base. Upon word of their safety, President Nixon presented the entire manned spacecraft team with the Medal of Freedom, and then accompanied the wives of the astronauts to meet their newly earthbound husbands in Honolulu.
May 18, 1969: "Baudouin, 18.V.69" and "Fabiola." Also signed by several members of the Belgian royal counsel, as well as members of the US State Department. At approximately 2:49 pm on May 18, 1969, the Apollo 10 spacecraft launched from Complex 39 at the Kennedy Space Center. Among others observing from the VIP bleachers were the King and Queen of Belgium, Baudouin and Fabiola, who were flown to the liftoff ceremony under the executive request of President Nixon.
Also signed by several of President Nixon's guests who accompanied him to the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs on May 3, 1969, including Betty Ford, Strom Thurmond, and several others. Includes an informative research folder housing numerous images and articles related to the various flights and events, as well as four copies of President Nixon's daily itineraries. In fine condition. Highlighted by a full, rare cast of Apollo 11 signatures, this one-of-a-kind Air Force One guest book chronicles a uniquely influential chapter in the annals of space and political history.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.