When the Apollo 11 astronauts arrived on the USS Hornet, US President Richard Nixon was on hand to greet them–and say some quirky remarks.
With the help of Apollo 11 transcripts, here are some of his quotes.
After saying he spoke to the astronauts’ wives:
And also, I’ve got to let you in on a little secret – I made a date with them. (Laughter) I invited them to dinner on the thirteenth of August, right after you come out of quarantine.
And incidently [sic], the speeches that you have to make at this dinner can be very short. And if you want to say fantastic or beautiful, that’s all right with us. Don’t try to think of any new adjectives; they’ve all been said.
One question, I think, all of us would like to ask. As we [saw] you bouncing around in that boat out there, I wonder if that wasn’t the hardest part of the journey. Was that – did any of you get seasick?
I had a telephone call yesterday. The toll wasn’t, incidently, as great as the one I made to you fellows on the moon. (Laughter) I made that collect, just in case you didn’t know.
That last quote calls to mind Nixon’s famous ‘I’m not a crook’ speech.