It was back between 1969 and 1973 when there was an Aerospace Program at ECU, the Physics Department purchased an “Atom Smasher,” and Richard S. Lennon, Jr., who worked with NASA computer operations in support of the first-man-on-the-moon mission, was appointed acting director of the ECU computing Center, that there was a Planetarium proposed for ECU. In 1969, the architectural firm of Dudley and Shoe were hired to come up with plans to show the public. The proposed site for the Planetarium would be on Ninth Street between Charles Street and Lawrence Street (behind what is now Mendenhall). On March 7, 1970, plans for the Planetarium were formally announced by the University with a proclamation from the Governor. Challenge grants were given by the American Credit Corporation Foundation, Wilbur Hardee, president of Little Mint, Inc., and others, but there was funding problems. The NC Legislature didn’t give the planning funds and the idea died.
With the shift in eastern North Carolina to an economy based more on science and technology in the 1960s and 1970s, the concept of a Planetarium began at East Carolina University. Despite donations and a hearty campaign, Greenville was limited by the 1974 NC Legislature and the Planetarium was never built.