The National Archives education team’s film of the month highlights a Pathé film relating to current events, anniversaries or key topics that you may be covering in the classroom.
This month’s clip is titled ‘Man On The Moon’ (1969) and shows the 1969 moon landing.
On 20 July 1969, the American Apollo 11 spaceflight landed on the surface of the moon. Inside were astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, who became the first humans to set foot on the moon. Armstrong’s first step was broadcast live to viewers across the entire world. He described this step as ‘one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind’, portraying the moon landing as a symbol of progress for all of humanity.
The moon landing was partly propelled by the ‘Space Race’, a competition between the United States and the Soviet Union to see which country could achieve the most advanced space technology. Before the moon landing, the Soviet Union had achieved the first ever successful satellite launch (Sputnik 1) in 1957 and the first human going into space in 1961.
With this film, students could consider:
- What happened after the astronauts landed on the moon?
- What do you think it was like to walk on the surface of the moon?
- How do you think you would have felt watching this live in 1969?
- Why did the astronauts planted an American flag on the surface of the moon? (Consider the context of the Space Race described above.)
Find a document from our collection related to the moon landing in our Sixties Britain bundle:
You can also see a message from Queen Elizabeth II to the moon in our Platinum Jubilee video resource: