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Apollo 11 astronaut was 90

Human Race: Michael Collins orbited the moon while Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong walked its surface


Ralph Morse/The LIFE Picture Collection via Getty Images

Apollo 11 astronaut was 90
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Died

Astronaut Michael Collins, the Apollo 11 crewmember who didn’t get to walk on the moon, died April 28 at age 90 of cancer. Collins piloted the command module while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin descended to the lunar surface for man’s first walk on the moon in 1969. After traveling the 238,000 miles to the moon, Collins piloted the ship alone for nearly 28 hours while his colleagues left in the lunar lander to make history on the moon. Some called Collins “the loneliest man in history,” but he later said he enjoyed the time out of radio contact with NASA but worried about Aldrin and Armstrong. He had to successfully redock the lander onto the command module for all three men to make it back to Earth. After that historic mission, he never returned to space. Collins left NASA and eventually headed up the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum and authored several books.

Slowed

The number of babies born in the United States declined by 4 percent last year, the largest dip since 1979, according to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics. The numbers dropped among every major ethnic group: Birthrates fell 4 percent for black and white women, 8 percent for Asian American women, and 3 percent for Hispanic women. The CDC said the birth figures leave the nation “below replacement levels,” which means more people are dying than being born. The lead expert on the report said anxiety about the pandemic contributed to the decline.

Died

At least 45 people died and 150 others sustained injuries on April 30 during a stampede at an overcrowded religious festival in northern Israel. Local media estimated about 100,000 ultra-Orthodox Jews had crammed into the Galilee tomb of a second-century sage and mystic for the annual Lag BaOmer celebration. The Israeli military deployed medics and a helicopter to aid the search and rescue. Authorities are still investigating the cause. Witnesses said people had tripped on some stairs, causing others to fall and triggering the stampede. The festival was Israel’s first major religious event since the pandemic hit. The country has lifted nearly all restrictions and vaccinated more than 58 percent of its population.

Jailed

A Canadian judge last month sentenced a father in British Columbia to six months in jail for violating a gag order by speaking about his 16-year-old daughter’s treatment for gender dysphoria. Robert Hoogland has fought a two-year legal battle with school officials, mental health and medical professionals, and the provincial government, arguing they infringed on his parental rights by allowing and encouraging his minor daughter to receive cross-sex hormones without his consent. Hoogland has gone on the record in media interviews about his specific case and the trend of gender dysphoric children, girls in particular, being pushed into medical treatments and surgeries.

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