Nevada Appeal at 150: Sept. 12, 1962: JFK vows U.S. will win race to moon

JFK vows U.S. will win race to moon

Houston, Tex. (UPI) — President Kennedy said today the nation is determined to win the race with Russia to the moon and first place in space so that it will be an area of peace and never “a terrifying theater of war.”

A crowd estimated at 50,000 people in the vast Rice University Stadium cheered the President’s call for a “full speed” drive to win the space race with “boldness and daring.”

Under a hot, sunny sky in the city that is headquarters for the manned spacecraft center, the President paused midway in a two-day tour of space installations to call for an all-out effort to put the country ahead of the Soviet Union, now leading in manned space flight.

“For the eyes of the world and its testless millions now look up and out to space, to the moon and the planets beyond,” the President said.

“And we have vowed that they shall not see it governed by a hostile flag of conquest, but by a banner of peace. We have vowed that they shall not see space filled with weapons of mass destruction but with instruments of knowledge and understanding.”

Without saying so, Kennedy appeared to be aiming some barbs at former President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who recently criticized the administration’s efforts to beat Russia to the moon in this decade and called the program “fantastically expensive.”

This continues the Appeal’s review of news stories and headlines during its Sesquicentennial year.


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