Neil Armstrong’s Famous Words Include a Mistake

April 5, 2010 at 12:25 am 4 comments

The famous words from the Apollo 11 “Journey to the Moon” were spoken by Neil Armstrong after his first step on the lunar surface, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.

Most people know these words well because the recording is frequently played in everything from TV commercials to training videos. But, depending on your age, you might not know that’s not what he intended to say. He meant to say, “That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.” He apparently said “man” instead of “a man.”

Armstrong was sure he said the “a” but later stated, “Damn, I really did it. I blew the first words on the moon, didn’t I?” Armstrong has since indicated that he intended to say the “a” and when the quotation is written he would prefer the “a” is included in parenthesis: “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”

There has been great debate over what he actually said. In 2006, a researcher in Australia claimed that the “a” was spoken, but that it was inaudible due to transmission and recording equipment of the time. Using high-tech computer software, he was apparently able to detect the missing word. Other researchers have disputed this claim. Since one theory is that the “a” is inaudible, that will be a hard case to prove. I think another clue is the gap between the words. You can decide for yourself if there was room for an “a” between the words “for” and “man” — I have embedded the video, which includes the famous quote.

Broken Secrets

Written By: Chad Upton

Follow BrokenSecrets on Twitter

Sources: Snoops, Wikipedia, Wikiquote, Space Week

Entry filed under: Demystified, Despite Popular Belief. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

Why do Some Cars Have Blue Headlights? Vocal Throat Spray for Singers

4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. SLY  |  April 16, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    I’m so glad I found your blog. This place is simply awesome.

  • 2. Sourav Chakraborty  |  August 19, 2011 at 3:39 am

    Even the most evil Grammar Nazi ever is not going to blast him over a missing ‘a’. What are YOU doing here?

  • […] acuerdo a información del sitio, Armstrong declaró lo […]

  • 4. La frase mas famosa de la historia tiene un error ortografico  |  September 24, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    […] palabras cuando oyó la transmisión el 20 de julio de 1969. De acuerdo a información del sitio, Armstrong declaró lo siguiente: “Me propuse decir ?un’. Pensé que lo había dicho. […]


Leave a Reply to Sourav Chakraborty Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed

Follow Broken Secrets

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 5,366 other subscribers

Big Awards

Best Personal Blog/Website (People's Voice)

W3 Award - Copy Writing


Featured by…

• Yahoo
• Business Insider
• Smithsonian Magazine
• USA Today
• AskMen (and many more...)

Contact Info

%d bloggers like this: