Vanderhoof's Moon Rock

Field review by the editors.

Golden, Colorado

The Apollo 17 crew returned to Earth with so many moon rocks that in 1974 President Nixon ordered NASA to give each state two apiece for public display. Colorado kept one in its state capitol, but the other, valued at $5 million, vanished. It wasn't until 2010 that a college student tracked down the rock, finding it in the possession of John Vanderhoof, who was briefly Colorado's governor in 1974. A face-saving story was concocted that Vanderhoof had held onto the rock for "safekeeping," and that he now wanted it to be put on display in the Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum -- where it was unveiled with much fanfare on August 25, 2010.

Vanderhoof, deprived of the powers of his moon rock, died in 2013.

Vanderhoof's Moon Rock

Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum

Address:
1310 Maple St., Golden, CO
Directions:
On the campus of the Colorado School of Mines, on the west side of Maple St., just south of its intersection with 13th St.
Hours:
M-Sa 9-4, Su 1-4 (Call to verify)
Phone:
303-273-3815
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In the region:
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October 19, 2019

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