September 12 - 1962 - John F. Kennedy's "We Choose to Go to The Moon" Speech
President John F. Kennedy was in Houston to announce the development of a Manned Spaceflight Center in the city. Speaking from Rice Stadium at Rice University, Kennedy's theme was that of progress, particularly the scientific advances that had recently been made. His main promise would be that America would place a man on the moon within a decade. This was a remarkable claim. Kennedy had been a space program skeptic before taking office, and it was really the twin Cold War embarrassments in of the first manned spaceflight of Yuri Gagarin, a Soviet Cosmonaut, and the failed Bay of Pigs invasion, which boosted the Soviet's ally in Cuba Fidel Castro. Kennedy then doubled down on space programs and specifically sought to put a man on the moon. At that point, only one man, John Glenn, had even been in orbit and no one was sure how to get to the moon. Yet Kennedy confidently promised that America would put a man on the moon. Remarkably, despite deadly failures in the space program and Kennedy's own assassination, by July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin fulfilled Kennedy's promise by going to the moon.