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July 26, 1969, US President Nixon arrived in Manila; Gloria Diaz headed home with Miss Universe title

On July 26, 1969, US President Richard Nixon and First Lady Pat Nixon arrived in Manila for a state visit, the same day Gloria Diaz left New York en route to Manila via Honolulu for her homecoming after winning the Miss Universe pageant.

It was President Nixon who said:

“The United States conquered the moon but the Philippines has conquered the Universe.”

Image courtesy of http://www.kahimyang.com

In his remarks upon his arrival at Manila, the Philippines, on July 26, 1969, President Richard Nixon said,

I think it is significant to note that the first world capital that I am visiting, after having greeted the first men to have set foot on the moon, is Manila, the capital of the Philippines.

And that, it seems to me, is appropriate from a number of circumstances, but particularly so because now we speak not just of our world, but of the universe.

And that, it seems to me, is appropriate from a number of circumstances, but particularly so because now we speak not just of our world, but of the universe.

And I am not unaware of the fact that a very lovely lady from the Philippines, Miss Gloria Diaz, has been named Miss Universe.”

Remarks of His Excellency Richard Nixon upon his arrival at Manila, the Philippines, July 26, 1969. (www.officialgazette.gov.ph)

Ms. Gloria Diaz won Miss Universe pageant on July 19, 1969, held in Miami Beach, Florida, the same day the first man, astronaut Neil Armstrong, landed on the moon.

Díaz was 18 when she was crowned Miss Universe after outshining and outsmarting other candidates on the question on how to welcome the first men that had just landed on the moon, Neil Armstrong, Edwin Aldrin and Michael Collins, as soon as they return to planet Earth.

The final question was: 

“If the man from the moon should come down to earth and visit your hometown, what would you do to entertain him?” 

Gloria’s winning answer was: 

“Why, I guess I would do for him what I always do. Since he has been on the moon for so long, he would want a change.”

Sources:

http://www.officialgazette.gov.ph

http://www.kahimyang.com

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