Freedom Fueled the American Moon Shot


50 years ago this Wednesday, on May 25th, 1961, President John F. Kennedy committed the United States to win the space race, thus fulfilling one of humanity’s dearest dreams:

I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth.

Conceived half a century ago, during the Eisenhower Administration, and conducted by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the Apollo program responded to the surprise Soviet Sputnik 1 orbital satellite.

America’s scientific ambitions, human achievements, and exploratory adventures have been unparalleled ever since. Noteworthy, Kennedy’s moonshot was announced during a speech to Congress that included his articulation of the Freedom Doctrine.

Our strength as well as our convictions have imposed upon this nation the role of leader in freedom’s cause.

No role in history could be more difficult or more important. We stand for freedom.

That is our conviction for ourselves–that is our only commitment to others. No friend, no neutral and no adversary should think otherwise.

We are not against any man — or any nation–or any system — except as it is hostile to freedom.

Nor am I here to present a new military doctrine, bearing any one name or aimed at any one area. I am here to promote the freedom doctrine.

President Kennedy’s speech is remembered for his Cold War challenge to catch up to and pass the Soviet military space threat.

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  • Gunner57

    We made it to the Moon because we had better German scientists than the Soviets. We should acknowledge Werner von Braun who truly made it happen not some playboy whore whonever worked a day in his life.

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  • Fred Dawes

    That is cute but what have we done in 50 years? yes the moon but in 40 years we stopped DOING OUR SPACE RACE ask why? its wasn't about money it was about not wanting to make the USSR Look bad. AND yes people the boys don't not like the ideals of Americans feeling good it is a joke.

  • Wesley69

    JFK's vision took the US to the Moon and leadership in space. NASA has carried on in this tradition. but somewhere along the way, it has lost its was, starting with Nixon's cancellation of moon landings in the 70's..

    The Hubble Telescope , the International Space Station, the Space Shuttle and techology spinoffs that the Space Program produced that we use in our daily lives are mindboggling. Where is the vision now?

    It is embarassing that this country's astronauts will be hitching rides to the International Space Station aboard a Russian spaceship Are we sacrificing our leadership in space? It looks that way and the competition is gearing up. Besides the Russians, Indian and China are making plans to go where we will no longer go. The key that Americans seem to forget is that whichever country gains control of space, can control this planet.

  • fxgeorges

    And freedom has slipped awy one law at a time. Medicare, Medicaid, Food Stamps, federal housing, federal housing loan programs, federal student grants and loans, federal school subsidies and lunch programs, federal drug safety, federal food safety, federal oversight of the banking system, and on and on.

    Like bye, bye American Pie, its bye, bye America as we knew it unless the Titanic can be turned around. With the electorate willing to install a BHO in the White House, it doesn't look good. ButI pray.

  • OLJingoist

    That was a time when the average American thought our country was exceptional. We were a world leader and innovator of technology.
    What happened ?

  • trickyblain

    Thinking for myself, on my way to work I drive by a giant Oracle facility. One of about 3 in my area. We're taking big. Rational thought tells me that Americans work there and fill those buildings, especailly b/c some of them are my friends. Same goes with the other companies I listed. Ever see the Microsoft or Apple or Adobe campus? Same story. Lots and lots of Americans working for these innovators. Not the same as a company like Nike where everything is off-shore except for supply-chain and marketing.

    So sorry, for the misunderstanding, but your posts contain all of the standard Beckisms ("liberal education" etc.). You must be an "Independent"? That must happen to you a lot.

    • OLJingoist

      Have you seen the plants in asia where all the actual mfg. of these products take place.
      I have, the jobs to produce American innovation is being completed oversees, by hundreds of thousands of foreign workers.
      I won't even speak to the number of ancillary industries to mfg. ie: plastics, metal,transportation and many more industries to support the mfg.of these goods. Those jobs were sent out of country.

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