Lost Moon Rock Found in Clinton Files

Apollo 17 rock languished in gubernatorial files
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 23, 2011 3:41 AM CDT
Apollo 17 Eugene Cernan on the lunar surface, 1972. Rocks from the mission were given to all 50 states and to leaders from 135 countries.   (NASA)

(Newser) – In the 1970s, NASA presented a moon rock to all 50 states. Some, including Alaska and New Jersey, have lost theirs. In Arkansas, the rock had been thought lost for more than 30 years until it turned up in the files of former governor Bill Clinton. The rock—presented to Clinton's predecessor in 1976—had apparently been accidentally packed away with Clinton's gubernatorial files after he lost his re-election bid in 1980, MSNBC reports.

An archivist found the rock in a box labeled "Arkansas flag plaque," which was one of 2,000 boxes of Clinton papers acquired by the Central Arkansas Library System in 2004. The rock, which some estimate is worth millions, is now likely to find a home in a museum. Other states are still searching, but Colorado has found its "Goodwill rock." Former Gov. John Vanderhoof admitted last year that he had kept it and agreed to give back.

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