November 22, 1963

Kennedy Pushes America to the Moon

refer to caption
The 10-cent First Man On The Moon stamp was issued September 9, 1969.

The Soviets had already beaten the Americans into space by launching the first satellite and first human into orbit. Even with the slow start, Kennedy was determined to one-up the Soviets by having the first human to step foot on the Moon be an American: “No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important,” he said.

Though Kennedy didn’t live to see the results of the plan he set in motion, his seemingly fantastic goal was accomplished before the end of the decade. In 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin left footprints on the moon’s dusty surface, planting the American flag that undeniably also paid homage to the president who had first proposed their voyage.