Thursday, December 31, 2015
When Apollo 11 returned from the first moon landing, a bit of moon dust was given as a present from Richard Nixon to then British Prime Minister Harold Wilson. At the time, this was a gift of great significance due to the absolute novelty of space flight during the 60's and saw the dust go on a nationwide tour of various science museums. However, public interest in the dust faded in the same way as it did with the Apollo program and the gift was eventually stored in an unobtrusive cabinet at 10 Downing Street. Not even the National Science Museum was interested in putting it on display with the curator once comparing it to a "toothbrush used by Napoleon" in significance. As a result, this unique curiosity will continue to languish in obscurity among the treasures of the British government until the day when it is once again considered an object worthy of display.
See, How Richard Nixon's moon dust gift ended up in a No 10 cupboard, The Belfast Telegraph, December 30, 2015.
Special thanks to Brian Cohan (Attorney at Law, Law Offices of Brian J. Cohan, P.C.) for bringing this article to my attention.