It was repeated and grew until astronauts landed on the lunar surface. Cecil Adams, The Straight Dope columnist says, "Nobody knows exactly where the story got started, although some think it was speculation by some bigshot during an after-dinner speech in the early days of the space program."
"The only thing you can see from the Moon is a beautiful sphere, mostly white, some blue and patches of yellow, and every once in a while some green vegetation," said Alan Bean, Apollo 12 astronaut. "No man-made object is visible at this scale."
While not visible from the Moon, Ancient pyramids at Giza, Egypt are clearly visible in this photo from the Station.