Hero’s Welcome After First Moon Landing 50 Years Ago

After taking mankind’s first steps on the moon, the three American astronauts departed for Earth and landed in the Pacific Ocean near Hawaii, where a Navy helicopter helped return them to a hero’s welcome, July 24, 1969.

The nation celebrated America’s great victory with a New York City parade, and former President Richard Nixon held a state dinner in Washington, D.C., in the astronauts’ honor.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the famous Apollo 11 mission and the first-ever moon landing. (AP)