THOMAS P. STAFFORD'S signed provenance letter reads: "The Apollo 8 photograph that accompanies this letter was presented to me from the Apollo 8 crew. Commander Frank Borman, James Lovell, and William Anders had just completed one of the most important spaceflights of all time, making the first voyage to the Moon and back during December 1968.
This photograph has the first view seen by Man of the Earth rising above the Moon’s surface. It was printed by the photographic labs at the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, Texas, just after the Apollo 8 flight.
It turned out to be an image our country could be proud of after the extremely turbulent year of 1968 – the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, growing protests with the Vietnam War, and continuing social unrest. The mission to the Moon in 1969 that I made and the success of the Apollo 11 lunar landing in July gave us all hope that mankind could move closer together toward peace.
This photograph and the many others from Apollo 8 were extremely helpful to me and my Apollo 10 crew of astronauts John Young and Gene Cernan. We used their close-up photographs of the Moon to assist our planning of a low altitude pass of less than 50,000 feet above the lunar surface during May of 1969. Our flight procedures proved that Apollo 11 could indeed make the first lunar landing just two months later on July 20, 1969.”
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