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Neil Armstrong’s Brother Says He Lied About Origins of ‘One Small Step’ Speech [VIDEO]

Apollo 11 Crew
Keystone, Hulton Archive

It’s one of the most iconic speeches in American history. On the day that Neil Armstrong stepped on to the surface of the moon he said “That’s one small step for  man, one giant leap for mankind.” He always maintained that the words to the speech came to him spontaneously, in the moment. That may not have been the case, however. Find details after the jump.


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Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon, passed away last August at the age of 82. The legendary astronaut always claimed that he made up the words to his iconic speech on the spot, as he stepped on to the surface of the moon. In a new series of interviews to be televised on BBC Two this coming Sunday, Neil’s brother disputes that claim, and says that his sibling’s famous words were written months before he actually stepped on to the moon. In that interview, Dean Armstrong says that Neil asked him to read the speech just before he and his crew left for Cape Canaveral to train and prepare for the launch of Apollo 11. Dean says that they were playing a board game one evening when Neill passed him a scrap of paper and said “read that”. “On that piece of paper there was that “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”  Dr. Christopher Riley, who has analyzed the lunar transmission and who directed the BBC biopic says “Neill always maintained that he’d thought it up after the landing, before the walk. Dean’s story rather suggests that he gave it more thought than that.”

Do you wish that Dean Armstrong had just kept this story private, like I do? It’s still an important moment in American history and an iconic speech. Does it really matter when it was written?


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