A missing moon rock given to the state of Arkansas 35 years ago has been found in a box of former President Clinton’s papers and memorabilia from his time as governor.
“It’s sort of a mystery solved,” Bobby Roberts, director of the Central Arkansas Library System, told the Arkansas News Wednesday.
The small rock was brought to Earth by astronauts during the 1972 Apollo 17 mission and was given to then-Gov. David Pryor in 1976. Each state governor was given a similar memento in 1974 by the Nixon administration.
“It has probably been there, sitting in that box, 30 years, 32 years, we’re guessing,” Roberts said. “We’re delighted it was found and not damaged.”
He said that the rock was likely packed away by one of Clinton’s staffers in late 1980 after Clinton lost his first reelection for governor. It was found in one of about 2,000 boxes at the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies.
Roberts worked in Clinton’s administration after he was reelected in 1982 but said he did not remember seeing the rock.
He said he plans to give it to Gov. Mike Beebe so it can be displayed publicly.