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2018 Wright Brothers Banquet to Celebrate Apollo 8 Mission

November 8, 2017 - Friday evening, December 8, EAA announced the theme of the 2018 Wright Brothers Memorial Banquet to be EAA Salutes the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 8. The announcement was made to attendees at the conclusion of the 2017 banquet, which featured X-15 pilot and astronaut Joe Engle as the keynote speaker.

Apollo 8 was the first manned spaceflight to circle the moon, and it moved the United States one step closer to reaching President John F. Kennedy’s dream of placing man on the lunar surface. As the spacecraft orbited the moon on December 24, 1968, thousands of Americans tuned in to hear a special broadcast of Apollo 8’s crew reading from the book of Genesis. It was on that same mission that Bill Anders took one of the iconic photos of all time — Earthrise.

“I think that sight of the Earth really brought it home,” Apollo 8 Cmdr. Frank Borman said in a recent interview with EAA. “It was Christmas Eve and we were 200 and some thousand miles away from Earth. Everything we had valued, our families, our country, everything was back there on the Earth. It was perhaps the only moment in the flight where I was really nostalgic thinking about how remarkable the Earth was and how far we were from it.”

The 2018 Wright Brothers Memorial Banquet is scheduled for December 7 at the EAA Aviation Museum in Oshkosh. Ticket sales and additional details will be announced as they become available.

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