May 25, 1961: JFK says America will make it to the Moon before the end of the decade and before the U.S.S.R.
UPDATED 11:09 AM PT – Tuesday, May 25, 2021
On May 25, 1961, a newly inaugurated President John F. Kennedy dropped a bombshell on the congressional floor when he challenged the U.S.S.R. in race to the Moon.
During his speech, he outlined America’s ambitions in the Space Race, which included a nuclear rocket called Rover and new weather satellites. However, Kennedy’s announcement of a race to the Moon added an entirely new dynamic to America’s endeavors among the stars.
This announcement set the sage for a unified America, which rallied behind three astronauts eight years later as they boarded the Apollo 11 rocket on their way to take the first steps on the Moon.