As the USA
celebrated the 30th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing in 1999,
the notion that the July 1969 mission could have turned tragic seemed,
in retrospect, inconceivable. But the Nixon administration devised a
contingency plan in case the two men who stepped on the moon were stranded
there, according to this July 18, 1969 memo discovered at the National
Archives. The memo, entitled "In Event of Moon Disaster,"
includes a speech--drafted by aide William Safire--that Nixon would
have delivered saluting astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. After
making condolence calls to the "widows-to-be," Nixon would
have said, "Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon
to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace."