Apollo 11: Message from President Félix Houphouët-Boigny

Message of good will from President Félix Houphouët-Boigny on the occasion of the first steps on the Moon of astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin on July 20, 1969, 50 years ago.

In 2018, James R. Hansen recounts in the preface to a reissue of First Man – The First Man on the Moon, an interview he had in 2009 with Neil Armstrong, during which he was quoted the three messages that most impressed him:

  • Félix Houphouët-Boigny for Côte d’Ivoire;
  • Baudouin for Belgium;
  • José Joaquín Trejos Fernández for Costa Rica.


I am very thankful for NASA’s kind attention in offering me the
services of the first human messenger to set foot on the Moon and
carry the words of the Ivory Coast.

I would hope that when this passenger from the sky leaves
man’s imprint on lunar soil, he will feel how proud we are to
belong to the generation which has accomplished this feat.

I hope also that he would tell the Moon how beautiful it is
when it illuminates the nights of the Ivory Coast.

I especially wish that he would turn towards our planet
Earth and cry out how insignificant the problems which torture
men are, when viewed from up there.

May his word, descending from the sky, find in the Cosmos
the force and light which will permit him to convince humanity
of the beauty of progress in brotherhood and peace.

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