James Rhodes at Neil Armstrong Homecoming Parade photograph   Save
Wonderful World of Ohio
Description: This 2" x 2" (5.08 x 5.08 cm) photograph shows Ohio Governor James Rhodes speaking at a homecoming parade held for astronaut Neil Armstrong in 1969. More than 80,000 supporters greeted Armstrong upon his return to Wapakoneta, Ohio on September 6, 1969. Bob Hope served as marshal for the event, and guests included "Tonight Show" sidekick Ed McMahon, and Dr. Albert Sabin, who invented the polio vaccine. Hope joked with the crowd that Armstrong was adjusting well to life on Earth after his space visit, "but he keeps throwing his shoes out the window and eating toothpaste," referring to the system of trash disposal on early flights and the practice of packaging astronauts' food in tubes. Neil A. Armstrong (b. 1930), the first man to walk on the moon, was born in Wapakoneta. He received Bachelor and Master of Science degrees in aeronautical engineering from Purdue University. After serving as a naval aviator from 1949 to 1952, Armstrong joined the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) in 1955. For the next 17 years he worked for NACA and its successor agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). As a research pilot at NASA's Flight Research Center in Edwards, California, he was a project pilot on many pioneering high-speed aircraft. Armstrong transferred to astronaut status in 1962 and was assigned as command pilot for the Gemini 8 mission, which was launched on March 16, 1966. As spacecraft commander for Apollo 11, the first manned lunar landing mission, Armstrong gained the distinction of being the first man to land a craft on the moon and first to step on its surface. James Rhodes (1909-2001) served four terms as governor of Ohio, more than any other Ohio governor. Rhodes was born in Coalton, Ohio, and his father, a Welsh coal miner, died when he was eight years old. Rhodes attended Ohio State University, but had to drop out to support his mother and sisters. In 1937, Rhodes was elected to the Columbus board of education. He served two terms as auditor before being elected mayor of Columbus in 1943. He was auditor of state from 1952 to 1962 and ran for governor twice before being elected in 1962. In May 1970, Rhodes ordered National Guard troops to the Kent State University campus, resulting in the tragic shootings of four students after days of Vietnam War protests. During his four terms as governor Rhodes advocated for more funding for universities and was responsible for the development of dozens of new parks, highways and airports. View on Ohio Memory.
Image ID: Om3101_3737102_001
Subjects: Ohio Government; Science and Technology; Arts and Entertainment; Celebrations; Parades & processions; Hope, Bob, 1903-2003; Armstrong, Neil, 1930-2012 ; Flight; Aeronautics; Astronauts; Governors; Rhodes, James A. (James Allen), 1909-2001
Places: Wapakoneta (Ohio); Auglaize County (Ohio)