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First Man: History Center to Host Neil Armstrong Biographer James Hansen

–Hansen wrote the only authorized biography of astronaut Neil Armstrong and co-produced the new film “First Man” starring Ryan Gosling–


 Just weeks after the premiere of the critically-acclaimed film “First Man” starring Ryan Gosling as astronaut Neil Armstrong, the Senator John Heinz History Center will host First Man: An Evening with James R. Hansen, on Thursday, Nov. 1,beginning at 7 p.m.


Hansen, the author of “First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong” and co-producer on the film, is the only authorized biographer of Armstrong, who made “one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind” when he became the first human to walk on the Moon on July 20, 1969.


A professor emeritus of history at Auburn University and a former historian for NASA, Hansen will share insights into his relationship with Armstrong, his efforts to research the astronaut’s career and the history of the Apollo program, and his recent work with the cast and crew of the “First Man” movie.


The “First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong” book will be available for purchase, and Hansen will sign copies following the program.


Admission includes after-hours access to the History Center’s six floors of award-winning exhibitions, including Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission. The History Center is one of just four museums in the country – and the only one east of the Mississippi – to host this epic exhibit from the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum.


The Destination Moon exhibition takes visitors on an in-depth exploration of the Apollo 11 mission and marks a once-in-a-lifetime chance to see a national treasure in Pittsburgh – the Command Module Columbia. The exhibit showcases more than 100 one-of-a-kind artifacts, including mission-flown objects used by Apollo 11 crew members Armstrong, Michael Collins, and Buzz Aldrin.


Tickets are available online at www.heinzhistorycenter.org/events:


  • $15 general admission includes entry to the program and after-hours access to all museum exhibits, including Destination Moon.
  • $33 expanded admission (available until Wednesday, Oct. 31) includes entry to the program, after-hours access to all exhibits, and a signed paperback copy of “First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong.”


Doors open at 6 p.m. and Hansen’s presentation will begin at 7 p.m.


The Senator John Heinz History Center, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution and the largest history museum in Pennsylvania, presents American history with a Western Pennsylvania connection. The Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum is a museum within a museum, comprehensively presenting the region’s remarkable sports story through hundreds of artifacts and interactive experiences for visitors of all ages. The History Center and Sports Museum are located at 1212 Smallman Street in the city’s Strip District, and are open every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The History Center’s museum system includes the Sports Museum; the Fort Pitt Museum in historic Point State Park; and Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village, a National Historic Landmark located in Avella, Pa. in Washington County. More information is available at www.heinzhistorycenter.org.




On Nov. 1, the Heinz History Center will host an evening with James R. Hansen, author of “First Man: The Life of Neil A. Armstrong” and co-producer on the “First Man” film starring Ryan Gosling.





James R. Hansen, author of the only authorized biography of astronaut Neil Armstrong, will appear at the Heinz History Center on Nov. 1 to discuss his book and his work on the “First Man” film. (Pictured: Official crew photo of the Apollo 11 Prime Crew. From left to right are astronauts Neil A. Armstrong, Commander; Michael Collins, Command Module Pilot; and Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr., Lunar Module Pilot. Photo courtesy of NASA.)


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