It is my theory that 1969 to 1972 is high water mark for the United States. Coming out of WWII as the manufacturing industrial giant, we built a country that in the 1960s could dream of putting a man on the moon. I think we were already running on inertia by the time we did it. The energy was gone and when we quit the Apollo missions early and turned back, it's been retrograde movement ever since.
Here's a series of pictures of the archaeological ruins the space race left behind. Someone should remember who we were and how high that wave crested.