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Virtual Lecture - Operation Moonglow: The Politics of Project Apollo

Date: Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Location: Zoom Virtual Lecture

Time: 7 pm (EST)

Sixty years ago, on May 5, 1961, Alan Shepard became the first American in space. A graduate of the US Naval Academy, Shepard challenged the Soviet Union’s lead in the Space Race and advanced US prestige. 20210504-VL-Operation-MoonglowHis flight also gave President Kennedy the confidence to propose Project Apollo just a few weeks later. We often remember Project Apollo as a feat of science and engineering, but from the very start, it was part of a broader geopolitical strategy to build alliances, win “hearts and minds,” and secure superpower status in the Cold War.  

Dr. Teasel Muir-Harmony, Curator of the Apollo Collection at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum, will trace the politics of Project Apollo, from President John F. Kennedy’s call in 1961 to win the battle “between freedom and tyranny” with lunar exploration, to President Richard Nixon’s “Operation Moonglow” diplomatic tour of Southeast Asia in 1969. Drawing on a rich array of untapped archives and firsthand interviews with Apollo astronauts, Operation Moonglow explores the intersection of spaceflight, geopolitics, propaganda, and diplomacy during the Cold War. 

Registration required.

Cost: $15 per household for General Admission; $10 per household for HA Members and Volunteers (all fees and donations for this event support Historic Annapolis)


Historic Annapolis, a Smithsonian Affiliate, is pleased to present this si-Affiliate-rgb-verical-color program in association with the Smithsonian Institution.

This lecture will be offered virtually by Zoom, an online video conferencing platform. Upon registration, you will be sent the link for the video conference to join on the evening of the lecture. If you do not receive your confirmation email after you register, please check your Spam folder, or email Carolyn Currin at To learn more about Zoom and to download the app to your computer, visit the Zoom website.

20210504-VL-photo-of-speaker-Dr-Teasel-Muir-Harmony-photo-credit-Claire-ScovilleAbout our Presenter: Teasel Muir-Harmony is the curator of the Apollo Collection at the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum and teaches at Georgetown University. She earned a PhD from MIT and has held positions at the American Institute of Physics and the Adler Planetarium and Science Museum. She is the author of Apollo to the Moon: A History in 50 Objects and a contributor to the television series Apollo’s Moon Shot. She lives in Washington, DC. (Photo Credit: Claire Scoville)


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