On This Day

When US Astronauts Visited Yangon

By Wei Yan Aung 17 March 2019

On this day in 1970, the US Apollo 12 astronauts visited Yangon, four months after their landing on the Moon. Charles Conrad Jr., Richard Gordon and Alan Bean laid a wreath at the Martyrs’ Mausoleum and visited Shwedagon Pagoda, Sule Pagoda and Yangon City Hall among other sites.

Sharing their experiences of space with the crowds near Shwedagon Pagoda for around 45 minutes, the astronauts offered a philosophical insight they had gained during their mission. Viewed from space, they said, the Earth becomes tiny, and people’s reasons for fighting each other seem unimportant.

During their trip, Conrad presented rocks retrieved from the Moon’s surface to then-Information Minister Brigadier-General Thaung Dan.