Man on the Moon: the Lancaster Man Who Helped Make It Possible

LANCASTER, S.C. (CN2 NEWS) Fifty years ago, man got closer to heaven by stepping on the moon.  The Apollo 11 space-shuttle lifted off from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida on July 16th, 1969.  Four days later, Neil Armstrong was the first man to step on the moon.

That mission might never have happened if it hadn’t been for Lancaster native Charlie Duke.  Duke worked in the command center in Houston during Apollo 11.  After the landing, there are recordings of him saying, “We’re  Duke’s website says he was born in Charlotte, but he was raised in Lancaster.

“Lancaster is home. He’s a South Carolinian. He’ll tell you that it’s his roots,” said John Duke, who’s Charlie Duke’s nephew.   John was seven years old when Apollo 11 launched, and he was in Florida to watch the historic moment.

“We were about 3 miles away and it would shake you from the inside,” remembers John, “I mean it was something else.”

In 1972, when he was 36 years old, Charlie Duke became the youngest man to walk on the moon.  He carried a South Carolina flag with him.   The city of Lancaster held a parade in his honor, echoing the thoughts of his nephew.

“It was hard to believe when you look at the moon and think [that] Uncle Charlie’s on the moon,” says John.



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