Neil Armstrong came to Purdue in the fall of 1947 and entered the aeronautical engineering department filled with the hope and optimism shared by the people of a country emerging from a world war. In his words, "I just couldn't have been happier with what I was doing, going into engineering." Neil was only the second person in his family to attend a university. He was accepted into MIT, but was told by a friend of Neil’s father that it wasn’t necessary to go all the way to MIT for a good engineering education. Neil chose Purdue, in large part, because of its reputation and the fact that it was only 220 miles from his home in Wapakoneta, Ohio. In July 1969, as spacecraft commander of the historic Apollo 11 mission, Armstrong gave perhaps one of the 20th century's most famous quotes; "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind."
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