Today marks the 50th anniversary of the first landing on the moon by the Apollo 11 astronauts. After the astronauts’ return to earth, Chicago honored them with a parade downtown.

A large banner saying "That's One Small Step for a Man One Giant Leap for Mankind" hangs over a City Hall entranceway on LaSalle Street. A group of people are sitting on the curb waiting along the parade route, August 13, 1969

A large banner saying “That’s One Small Step for a Man One Giant Leap for Mankind” hangs over a City Hall entranceway on LaSalle Street. A group of people are sitting on the curb waiting along the parade route, August 13, 1969. RJD_04_01_0052_0006_011

As many as two million spectators may have witnessed it, according to Police Superintendent James B. Conlisk.

Michael Kilian and John MacLean, of the Chicago Tribune, described the parade:

It was more than a parade, it was glory. The brilliant blue sky was filled with ticker tape that seemed without source, streets and avenues were no longer thorofares [sic] but masses of humanity, and the cheers, the sirens, the ringing bells created so great a din that no other sound could be heard.

Apollo 11 astronaut parade crowd to celebrate landing of first man on the moon, August 13, 1969

Apollo 11 astronaut parade crowd to celebrate landing of first man on the moon, August 13, 1969. RJD_04_01_0052_0006_013

Mayor Richard J. Daley speaks from the podium at a ceremony in Civic Center plaza to honor Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin "Buzz" Aldrin, and Michael Collins, August 13, 1969

Mayor Richard J. Daley speaks from the podium at a ceremony in Civic Center plaza to honor Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, and Michael Collins, August 13, 1969. RJD_04_01_0052_0006_017

Source consulted

Michael Kilian and John Maclean, “Wild Acclaim for Heroes,” Chicago Tribune, August 14, 1969, p. N1.