R.I.P. Major General Michael Collins Oct 31, 1930 – Apr 28, 2021 (age 90).
Michael Collins’ NASA astronaut portrait.
In his role as the third director of the National Air and Space Museum, Michael Collins had his own version of President John F. Kennedy’s three-part mandate for the Apollo lunar landing program. Rather than calling for a man on the Moon by the end of the decade, Collins campaigned for a Museum on the Mall by the nation’s bicentennial. For years, he worked tirelessly to complete the project—both the building’s construction and all the exhibits inside— in time for that deeply symbolic deadline. Marshalling a team of curators and designers, he succeeded. On July 1, 1976, as Collins stood next to the completed National Air and Space Museum building on the day of the historic ribbon-cutting, President Gerald Ford called the museum, “a perfect birthday present from…
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