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State Historical Society hosting Apollo 11 50th anniversary video on July 20

State Historical Society hosting Apollo 11 50th anniversary video on July 20

The South Dakota State Historical Society is hosting the viewing of a new documentary about the Apollo 11 moon landing on Saturday, July 20, at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre.

“The Day We Walked on the Moon” will be screened four times on that day: 9:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. CDT. There is no fee to attend, but regular admission fees to the museum will apply that day. The video is being screened in 50 Smithsonian Institution-affiliated museums across the country on the 50th anniversary of the moon landing.

In the one-hour documentary, astronauts (including Michael Collins, the third member of the Apollo 11 mission), members of Mission Control (including Flight Director Gene Kranz, Capsule Communicator Charles Duke and Guidance Officer Steve Bales) and the children of Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin reveal their personal stories behind the scenes of the iconic day.

Pop culture notables like Queen guitarist and doctor of astrophysics Brian May and television personality and professor of physics Brian Cox describe where they were and what they felt during that “one small step.” It’s a story that ranges from the deeply personal to the grand and historic, an in-depth look at one of the most important 24-hour periods in history.

“The Day We Walked on the Moon” will continue to air on the Smithsonian Channel throughout July and is available to stream on the Smithsonian Channel app at The Smithsonian Channel is available on all major television distributors.

“This event may seem a little outside of our mission, but as a Smithsonian Affiliate since 2013 and a historical organization, we felt that an anniversary of a historic event of this magnitude warranted public attention,” said Jay Smith, museum director. “We have an exhibit on display about South Dakota’s missile field, and we certainly understand the Cold War relationship between NASA and the ‘space race’ to our missile field during this incredibly complex era of our nation’s history.” 

Visitors to the Cultural Heritage Center can view the exhibit “Silent Silos: South Dakota’s Missile Field” through February 2021. Regular admission fees apply.  The museum is open from 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m. CDT Monday through Saturday, and 1-4:30 p.m. CDT on Sundays and most holidays. Call 605-773-3458 for more information about exhibits, special events and upcoming activities.

Suggested cutline: Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin stands by an American flag on the moon. (Photo courtesy Smithsonian Channel)

About the South Dakota State Historical Society
The South Dakota State Historical Society is a division of the Department of Education. The State Historical Society, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is headquartered at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. The center houses the society’s world-class museum, the archives, and the historic preservation, publishing and administrative/development offices. Call 605-773-3458 or visit for more information. The society also has an archaeology office in Rapid City; call 605-394-1936 for more information.

About Smithsonian Affiliations
Established in 1996, Smithsonian Affiliations is a national outreach program that develops long-term collaborative partnerships with museums, educational and cultural organizations to enrich communities with Smithsonian resources. The long-term goal of Smithsonian Affiliations is to facilitate a two-way relationship among Affiliate organizations and the Smithsonian Institution to increase discovery and inspire lifelong learning in communities across America. More information about the Smithsonian Affiliations program and Affiliate activity is available at

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