What do you consider the most historical moments of the 20th century? I’d say the Russians raising the Soviet Union flag over the Reichstag when they conquered Berlin (damn, I so wish it was the American flag, though). Liberation of the Nazi concentration camps. President Lyndon B. Johnson signing the Civil Rights Act. The Miracle on Ice in 1980. The Berlin Wall tumbling down. President Bill Clinton sending the first presidential email to space to Senator  John Glenn.

There’s obviously one more that happened in 1969. A Gallup poll from December 1999 asked the people that same question and America placing men on the moon came in at #7. I cannot imagine that feeling watching Neil Armstrong walk down the ladder and placing the American flag on the moon. ICONIC. HISTORICAL.

Yeah, well, Hollywood has decided to water down history and omitted that iconic piece of history from the Neil Armstrong movie First Man.

Star Ryan Gosling defended the decision in an interview with The Telegraph:

“I think this was widely regarded in the end as a human achievement [and] that’s how we chose to view it. I also think Neil was extremely humble, as were many of these astronauts, and time and time again he deferred the focus from himself to the 400,000 people who made the mission possible.”

“He was reminding everyone that he was just the tip of the iceberg – and that’s not just to be humble, that’s also true.

“So I don’t think that Neil viewed himself as an American hero. From my interviews with his family and people that knew him, it was quite the opposite. And we wanted the film to reflect Neil.”

Gosling joked: “I’m Canadian, so might have cognitive bias.”

Yeah, Gosling, except that Armstrong said in an interview that it was his job “to get the flag there” after Congress decided to use Old Glory instead of a United Nations flag. AMERICA made the journey to the moon on its own. From The Telegraph:

“In the end it was decided by Congress that this was a United States project. We were not going to make any territorial claim, but we were to let people know that we were here and put up a US flag.

“My job was to get the flag there. I was less concerned about whether that was the right artefact to place. I let other, wiser minds than mine make those kinds of decisions.”

OK so Armstrong didn’t view himself as an American hero, but he is. Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin will forever grace the history books for being the first human beings on the moon.


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