He didn’t realise that that evening he would celebrating the event with the Apollo 11 crew.
Legendary Apollo 11 astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins were at Rice University to present a posthumous gift to President John F. Kennedy.
The gift was an authentic, treasured piece of moon rock – otherwise known as one of NASA’s highest honours: the Ambassador of Exploration Award.
The award was presented to commemorate Kennedy’s iconic role in the Apollo 11 moon landing, 40 years ago.
Paul met the crew to accept the moon rock on behalf of Rice University, where the award will be permanently displayed at the request of the Kennedy family.
NASA administrator Charles Bolden and the former Maryland Lt. Governor and niece of President John F. Kennedy, Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, were also present.
The Apollo 40th anniversary celebration was held at the National Air and Space Museum, on July 20, 2009 in Washington, DC.