One Small Step…

UPDATE: It has come to my attention via comments below that copies of Armstrong’s autograph I posted are being used to create fake autographs. I feel horrible that anyone might get ripped off, so I’m removing the image.

If you’re a space geek like me you know that the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing is coming up next week.

July 20, 1969. Neil Armstrong steps off the ladder and into history. The whole world is watching, except me. I was probably taking a nap. Hey, what do you want, I was 7 months old.

OK, flash forward to spring 1985. I’m a junior in high school and I write a report on the moon landing for US history class. It’s a decent paper, and I still have it.


Oh, how the labored teen handwriting cracks me up. Either I didn’t have a typewriter or we weren’t allowed to use them.

Kids, do you realize how much better you have it? We were writing 12-page reports in cursive. In pen. If we made a mistake at the bottom of the page, we had to re-write the whole damn page! Wite-out was for chumps.

And you gotta love those 100% manual footnotes. Forget about InDesign’s paragraph composer, this is organic copyfitting. I can still remember trying to figure out the number of lines to leave for the footnotes and using the stupid ruler to underline stuff.


Anyway, the best part about the paper was that my teacher, Dr. William Hanna, included a surprise when he returned it to me. Neil Armstrong’s autograph. Yes, that Neil Armstrong. Click for a close-up.



Dr. Hanna gave it to me just because he thought I wrote a good paper and would like to have a memento. He was an autograph collector, and I’m sure he had an amazing number of figures from American politics and popular culture. But this was beyond generous. It was a truly amazing gesture by a remarkable teacher (and published author) who instilled a love of history in me that I will have forever. Thanks again, Dr. H.

Yup, that autograph is my favorite space geek collectible, narrowly beating out my lunar module pencil sharpener. 😉




9 Responses to “One Small Step…”

  1. […] geek. I am an unabashed fanboy of the Apollo astronauts. Among my space geek collection I have Neil Armstrong’s autograph and a lunar module pencil sharpener. ’Nuff said. So this week’s anniversary of the Apollo […]

  2. Thanks for posting that. We are almost the same age… only my parents named me after him. He was walking around on the moon while my mom sat around the house hoping she would go into labor. I was a few weeks late. I think it was actually my dad’s idea to name me “Neil” since he worked at NASA (and did until his retirement a few years ago).

    In any event, I had never seen his autograph, and that was a treat. Thanks for that.

  3. if at any time you would want to sell this this. please email me at because i would be happy enough to take this off your hand for £170

  4. dont be crazy and sell it for 170, its worth 600 pounds at least.

  5. Hi: Are you currently selling the Armstrong signed card on eBay? If not, someone has made a copy from your scan and is selling the same exact signature.

    • Holy crap, no! That is not me! But you’re right, that’s a scan. I’m taking the image down so this does not happen again and I’ll try to inform eBay. Thank you!

      • Mike: I am the Space Authenticator for RR Auction and review many items. Unfortunately, more than a few scammers have taken advantage of your large scan and made copies. I have seen the same signature in matted displays, signed cuts, etc., etc.

  6. that is awesome

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