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All About Astronaut Neil Armstrong – The Early Years
Posted In: Space and Astrology  10/27/08
By: Yona Williams

Out of all of the astronauts associated with United States history, Neil Armstrong is one of the most popular spacemen to date. Why? He is the first man to walk on the Moon, of course! Along with his astronaut credits, Armstrong was also a test pilot, professor, and United States Naval Aviator in his lifetime. In this article, we will explore facts and trivia regarding Armstrong's early years.

Born in Wapakoneta, Ohio in August 5th 1930, Neil Alden Armstrong was born to Stephen Koenig Armstrong and Viola Louise Engel. His parents were of Scots-Irish and German descent. His father held a position with the Ohio government, which added to the many different places Neil lived throughout his life. The family (which also consisted of sister June and brother Dean) often moved around the state, which took place over the course of 15 years. The family would live in 20 different towns at this time.

As a youth, Armstrong was part of the Boy Scouts, which later earned him the title of Eagle Scout. When Armstrong entered his adult years he would gain recognition by the Boy Scouts of America, earning the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award and Silver Buffalo Award.

Additional facts concerning the early years of Neil Armstrong including his college years:

1) While living in Wapakoneta, Armstrong was a student at Blume High School.

2) In 1947, Armstrong centered his classes in aerospace engineering, attending Purdue University.

3) While attending Purdue University, Armstrong joined Phi Delta Theta and Kappa Kappa Psi.

4) College was a big deal to Armstrong (in regards to his family), as he was only the second family member to attend a higher institution.

5) Armstrong came pretty close to becoming a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – a school that he was accepted to in addition to Perdue. Interestingly, he listened to an engineer who happened to have attended MIT. The former student actually encouraged him to attend another school, assuring him that it wasn’t necessary to travel as far as Cambridge, Massachusetts to receive a decent education.

6) Armstrong did not have to worry about paying for his education, as the Holloway Plan took care of his college tuition. As a result, Armstrong committed to four years of school study, which were followed by three years of service in the U.S. Navy. A final two years of study were also required in order to receive a degree.

7) While attending Purdue University, Armstrong was an average student that experienced normal grade fluctuations.

8) At the end of his studies at Purdue University, Armstrong earned a BS in aeronautical engineering, as well as a Masters in the same field from the University of Southern California. To date, he also hold a great deal of honorary doctorates from a range of other universities.


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