In Event of Moon Disaster
On July 18 of 1969, as the world waited anxiously for Apollo 11 to land safely on the surface of the Moon, speechwriter William Safire imagined the worst case scenario as he expertly wrote the following sombre memo to President Nixon’s Chief of Staff, H. R. Haldeman. Its contents: a contingency plan, in the form of a speech to be read out by Nixon should astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin become stranded on the moon, never to return, followed by some brief instructions relating to its broadcast. Luckily for all those involved, the memo was never needed.
Image courtesy of The National Archives.