When John F. Kennedy became president in January 1961, Americans had the perception that the United States was losing the "space race" with the Soviets. President Kennedy understood the need and had the vision of not only matching the Soviets, but surpassing them. On May 25, 1961, he stood before Congress and proclaimed that “this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before the decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.”
On September 12, 1962, President Kennedy delivered a speech describing his goals for the nation’s space effort before a crowd of 35,000 people in the football stadium at Rice University in Houston, Texas.
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