Today marks the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s famous speech where he challenged America to land a man on the moon before the end of the 1960s.
On May 25, 1961 when Kennedy gave this speech in front of the U.S. Congress, the era of space exploration has barely begun. To put it in context, it was a mere 20 days after the first American had flow in space1 and Kennedy already was calling for us to travel to the moon.
“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 Earth.”
Kennedy’s goal was achieved on July 20, 2969 when Apollo 11 landed on the moon and Neil Armstrong became the first human to walk on another world.
- Alan Shepard became the first American to fly in outer space on May 5, 1961. [↩]