DescriptionApollo 11 Beta Cloth from President' Nixon's 1969 State Dinner, Presented to and Directly from the Personal Collection of Astronaut Walt Cunningham, Signed and Certified, with Signed LOA and Signed Photo. Offered here is a 4.75" x 5.25" Beta cloth with a printed Apollo 11 insignia. The day after their release from quarantine, the crew of Apollo 11 was feted with ticker tape parades in New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. That evening, they attended a State Dinner with President Nixon and numerous congressmen, governors, and ambassadors from around the world, as well as their fellow astronauts, where they were presented Presidential Medals of Freedom. Walt Cunningham was one of the invitees that night and he kept the Apollo 11 Beta cloth mission insignia he was given there. He has signed it in blue felt tip: "Pres. Nixon State Dinner 8/13/69" at top and "Walt Cunningham Apollo 7" beneath. Included is the #10 envelope in which he has stored this treasure for all these years, labeled in his handwriting: "Pres. Nixon State Dinner/ Century City Hotel, LAX/ 8-13-69". Also included in this lot is an 8" x 10" silk finish B&W photo of him in his spacesuit and "Snoopy cap," signed boldly in black felt tip with a seldom-seen full signature: "Ronnie Walter (Walt) Cunningham/ Apollo 7".
Included in this lot is a signed Letter of Certification from Cunningham on his letterhead. It reads, in full: "On August 13, 1969, three weeks after Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin returned from making Man's First Landing on the Moon, Pres. Richard Nixon celebrated their landing with an Official State Dinner, at the Century City Hotel in Los Angeles. I believe it was the first time an official state dinner was held outside of the White House. I was one of approximately 400 officially invited guests.
"It was a wonderful program honoring Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, who were at the head table with Pres. Nixon. Official attendees were presented with an Apollo 11 Beta cloth patch.
"I hereby warrant and certify that this is the Beta cloth patch I was presented at that Official State Dinner. It has been in my safe deposit box for nearly 46 years as part of my personal collection of artifacts from my career as a NASA astronaut."
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