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    Space Program

    On April 9, 1959, during President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s administration, seven men were selected to become Project Mercury astronauts: Scott Carpenter, Leroy Gordon Cooper, John Glenn Jr., Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Walter Schirra Jr., Alan Shepard Jr., and Donald “Deke” Slayton. The goals of the Project Mercury program were specific: to orbit a man...

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    Freedom 7 Space Capsule

    The John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum is proud to present a special new installation featuring Freedom 7, the iconic space capsule that U.S. Navy Commander Alan B. Shepard, Jr. piloted on the first American manned flight into space.

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    Elementary School Curricular Resources

    Access biographical resources on John F. Kennedy, including a letter from ten-year-old Jack Kennedy to his father, asking for a raise in his allowance. All lessons plans incorporate age-appropriate primary source material. Topics include: the campaign and election of 1960, the space program, civil rights, and the Kennedy White House. Check out l...

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    The Space Race

    In 1961 responding to the Soviet Union’s lead in the exploration of space, President Kennedy challenged the United States to keep up in the "Space Race" and not fall behind the Soviets.  He said: “We have a long way to go in the space race. We started late. But this is the new ocean, and I believe the United States must sail on it and be in a po...

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    The Situation Room

    The Situation Room was created after the failed Bay of Pigs invasion during the Kennedy Administration. President Kennedy felt he could no longer trust the information coming to him from the various areas of the national defense departments. As a way to ease the tensions and create a place for higher communication after the Bay of Pigs, Presiden...

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    Middle School Curricular Resources

    Challenge your students to analyze an inaugural address, research civil rights leaders, or follow President Kennedy on a typical day in the Oval Office, and more. Lesson plans and resources incorporate engaging archival material and meet national curriculum standards. Topics include: biographical resources, the campaign and election of 1960, the...

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    Americans in Space

    Speeches, documents, photographs and an activity guide your exploration of the space program in the Kennedy administration.

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    Race to the Moon

    Elementary lesson plan in which students use a letter of advice from a young student to President Kennedy to learn about “the space race.”

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