We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
President Kennedy departed the White House for Atlantic City. The President spoke to at the convention of the United Auto Workers.Video and Photos.
The President returned to Washington were he greeted the members of the Small Business Administration's National Advisory Board. The President met with Congressman Victor Anfuse
Happy Birthday, Mr. President
"Happy Birthday, Mr. President" is a song sung by actress and singer Marilyn Monroe on May 19, 1962, for President John F. Kennedy at a celebration of his 45th birthday, 10 days before the actual date (May 29).
The formal memorial is on May 15, and Police Week is the calendar week in which the memorial falls. Other events of National Police Week include an annual Blue Mass, Candlelight Vigil, Wreath Laying Ceremony, National Police Survivors Conference,  Honor Guard Competition,  and the Emerald Society & Pipe Band March and Service.  The annual event draws 25,000 to 40,000 law enforcement officers, their families, and other visitors to attend. 
The holiday was created on October 1, 1961, when Congress authorized the president to designate May 15 to honor peace officers. John F. Kennedy signed the bill into law on October 1, 1962. The proclamation signed by President Kennedy read: 
87th Congress of the United States of America
|H.J.Res. 730||October 1, 1962||Public Law 87-726|
Joint Resolution 76 Stat. 676.
To authorize the President to proclaim May 15 of each year as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week of each year during which such May 15 occurs as Police Week.
Whereas the police officers of America have worked devotedly and selflessly in behalf of the people of this Nation, regardless of the peril or hazard to themselves and
Whereas these officers have safeguarded the lives and property of their fellow Americans and
Whereas by the enforcement of our laws, these same officers have given our country internal freedom from fear of the violence and civil disorder that is presently affecting other nations
Whereas these men and women by their patriotic service and their dedicated efforts have earned the gratitude of the Republic: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved by the Senate and the House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That the President is authorized and requested to issue proclamations (1) designating May 15 of each year as Peace Officers Memorial Day in honor of the Federal, State, and municipal officers who have been killed or disabled in the line of duty, (2) directing the officials of the Government to display at half-staff the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on such day, as provided by section 3(m) of the Act of June 22, 1942 (Chapter 435 56 Stat. 377 36 U. S. C. 175), (3) designating in each year the calendar week during which such May 15 occurs as Police Week, in recognition of the service given by the men and women who, night and day, stand guard in our midst to protect us through enforcement of our laws, and (4) inviting the governments of the States and communities and the people of the United States to observe such day and week with appropriate ceremonies and activities, including the display at half-staff of the flag of the United States.
Approved October 1, 1962.
To pay tribute to the law enforcement officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country and to voice our appreciation for all those who currently serve on the front lines of the battle against crime, the Congress, by a joint resolution approved October 1, 1962 (75 Stat.676), has authorized and requested the President to designate May 15 of each year as "Peace Officers Memorial Day," and the week in which it falls as "National Police Week" and by Public Law 103-322 (36 U.S.C. 175) has requested that the flag be flown at half-staff on Peace Officers' Memorial Day.
Amended in 1994, Bill Clinton, through Public Law 103-322, directed that the flag of the United States be flown at half-staff on May 15. According to a proclamation by George W. Bush in 2002,
"Peace Officers Memorial Day and Police Week pay tribute to the local, State, and Federal law enforcement officers who serve and protect us with courage and dedication. These observances also remind us of the ongoing need to be vigilant against all forms of crime, especially to acts of extreme violence and terrorism."
At the National Peace Officer's Memorial Service on May 15, 2013, President Barack Obama paid tribute to fallen law enforcement officers, closing: 
The 143 fallen officers we honor today put themselves on the front lines of that fight, to preserve that quality of community, and to protect the roots of our greatness. They exemplified the very idea of citizenship – that with our God-given rights come responsibilities and obligations to ourselves and to others. They embodied that idea. That's the way they died. That's how we must remember them. And that's how we must live. We can never repay our debt to these officers and their families, but we must do what we can, with all that we have, to live our lives in a way that pays tribute to their memory. That begins, but does not end, by gathering here – with heavy hearts, to carve their names in stone, so that all will know them, and that their legacy will endure. We are grateful to them and we are grateful to you.
Monroe&aposs dress showed off her famous figure – and also gave the illusion that she was naked
The televised gala featured the talents of such stars as Ella Fitzgerald, Bobby Darin and Maria Callas. Throughout the night actor Peter Lawford took advantage of Monroe&aposs reputation for being late and constantly introduced her, only to look back at an empty stage and call for the next guest.
Toward the end of the night, Monroe finally shimmied onto the stage, with Lawford eerily welcoming her as "the late Marilyn Monroe." The actress then shed her ermine stole to reveal her gown, its tone and shimmering crystals giving the impression she was naked and illuminated. "The figure was famous," recounted Time. "And for one breathless moment, the 15,000 people in Madison Square Garden thought they were going to see all of it."
Monroe launched into her quiet, breathy rendition of "Happy Birthday," gaining steam with encouragement from the audience, before dovetailing into a version of "Thanks for the Memory," with reworked lyrics that lauded the president for his hard work. She then exhorted everyone to join the birthday wishes before the camera panned to a giant cake being carried out, her long-awaited appearance quickly over.
Afterward, while thanking the performers from the stage, Kennedy joked that he could "retire after having had &aposHappy Birthday&apos sung to me in such a sweet, wholesome way."
Historians and political scientists were given prominent positions within the Kennedy administration. Several themes that were popular in the post-World War II American histories were apparent during the administration and also reflected in the television series Profiles in Courage. Arthur Schlesinger Jr. was an important figure in the post-war efforts to create a "moderately liberal domestic consensus". Beginning in 1961, Schlesinger served as a special assistant to Kennedy. He was a member of the liberal lobbying group Americans for Democratic Action and in 1949 he published The Vital Center, a book which has been described as "a manifesto for anticommunist liberals, defining an agenda that combined the social concerns of the New Deal with support for the Cold War policy of containment of Soviet power." 
Within Schlesinger's analytical framework of the domestic politics of the United States during this period he identifies three main ideological currents: 1) what he calls the "vital center" are the "New Deal liberals" who had been gaining ground politically since 1933, 2) right-wing racial extremists mostly confined to the Southern regions of the United States, and 3) Communists who Schlesinger identifies as posing the "primary opposition to American values from within and without". Schlesinger, working on Kennedy's presidential campaign in 1960, sought an image of the candidate that would show the candidate's personal and individual accomplishment as counter to a collectivist ethos. Schlesinger's work along with Richard Neustadt's and other thinkers were key influences in the development of the New Frontier-era policies. 
The Kennedy Administration pushed an economic stimulus program through congress in an effort to kick-start the American economy following an economic downturn. On February 2, 1961, Kennedy sent a comprehensive Economic Message to Congress which had been in preparation for several weeks. The legislative proposals put forward in this message included: 
- The addition of a temporary thirteen-week supplement to jobless benefits,
- The extension of aid to the children of unemployed workers,
- The redevelopment of distressed areas,
- An increase in Social Security payments and the encouragement of earlier retirement,
- An increase in the minimum wage and an extension in coverage,
- The provision of emergency relief to feed grain farmers, and
- The financing of a comprehensive home building and slum clearance program.
The following month, the first of these seven measures became law, and the remaining six measures had been signed by the end of June. Altogether, the economic stimulus program provided an estimated 420,000 construction jobs under a new Housing Act, $175 million in higher wages for those below the new minimum, over $400 million in aid to over 1,000 distressed counties, over $200 million in extra welfare payments to 750,000 children and their parents, and nearly $800 million in extended unemployment benefits for nearly three million unemployed Americans. 
- Under his own presidential authority, Kennedy carried out various measures to boost the economy under his own executive anti-recessionary acceleration program. Through his own initiative, he directed all Federal agencies to accelerate their procurement and construction, particularly in labor surplus areas. A long-range program of post office construction was compressed into the first six months of his presidency, farm price supports were raised and their payments advanced, over a billion dollars in state highway aid funds were released ahead of schedule, and the distribution of tax refunds and GI life insurance dividends were sped up.  In addition, free food distribution to needy families was expanded, state governors were urged by Kennedy to spend federal funds more rapidly for hospitals, schools, roads, and waste treatment facilities, the college housing and urban renewal programs were pushed forward, and procurement agencies were directed to make purchases in areas of high unemployment. 
- In an attempt to expand credit and stimulate building, Kennedy ordered a reduction in the maximum permissible interest rate on FHA insured loans, reduced the interest rate on Small Business Administration loans in distressed areas, expanded its available credit and liberalized lending by the Federal Home Loan Banks. The Federal Reserve Board was also encouraged to help keep long-term interest rates low through the purchase of long-term government issues. 
- By 1964 economic recovery had begun, as low interest rates in mid-1962 stimulated a boom in the housing industry, while accelerated expenditures on veterans' benefits, highway building, and other government procurement programs revived consumer demand. 
- The Trade Expansion Act of 1962 authorized the president to negotiate tariff reductions on a reciprocal basis of up to 50 percent with the European Common Market. It provided legislative authority for U.S. participation in multilateral trade negotiations from 1964 to 1967, which became known as the Kennedy Round. The authority expired June 30, 1967, predetermining the concluding date of the Kennedy Round. U.S. duties below five percent ad valorem, duties on certain agricultural commodities, and duties on tropical products exported by developing countries could be reduced to zero under the act. The 1962 legislation explicitly eliminated the "Peril Point" provision that had limited U.S. negotiating positions in earlier General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) rounds, and instead called on the Tariff Commission and other agencies of the U.S. government to provide the president and his negotiators with information regarding the probable economic effects of specific tariff concessions. 
Under the Kennedy Administration, the most significant tax reforms since the New Deal were carried out, including a new investment tax credit.  President Kennedy said one of the best ways to bolster the economy was to cut taxes, and December 14, 1962, Kennedy stated at the Economic Club of New York that:
The final and best means of strengthening demand among consumers and business is to reduce the burden on private income and the deterrents to private initiative which are imposed by our present tax system and this administration pledged itself last summer to an across-the-board, top-to-bottom cut in personal and corporate income taxes to be enacted and become effective in 1963. I am not talking about a 'quickie' or a temporary tax cut, which would be more appropriate if a recession were imminent. Nor am I talking about giving the economy a mere shot in the arm, to ease some temporary complaint. I am talking about the accumulated evidence of the last 5 years that our present tax system, developed as it was, in good part, during World War II to restrain growth, exerts too heavy a drag on growth in peace time that it siphons out of the private economy too large a share of personal and business purchasing power that it reduces the financial incentives for personal effort, investment, and risk-taking. 
Kennedy specifically advocated cutting the corporate tax rate in this same speech. "Corporate tax rates must also be cut to increase incentives and the availability of investment capital. The Government has already taken major steps this year to reduce business tax liability and to stimulate the modernization, replacement, and expansion of our productive plant and equipment. We have done this through the 1962 investment tax credit and through the liberalization of depreciation allowances—two essential parts of our first step in tax revision which amounted to a 10 percent reduction in corporate income taxes worth $2.5 billion." President Kennedy went on to say he favored tax cuts for the rich as well as the poor:
Next year's tax bill should reduce personal as well as corporate income taxes, for those in the lower brackets, who are certain to spend their additional take-home pay, and for those in the middle and upper brackets, who can thereby be encouraged to undertake additional efforts and enabled to invest more capital. 
On the same evening, President Kennedy said the private sector and not the public sector was the key to economic growth:
"In short, to increase demand and lift the economy, the Federal Government's most useful role is not to rush into a program of excessive increases in public expenditures, but to expand the incentives and opportunities for private expenditures." President Kennedy told the economic club the impact he expected from tax cuts. "Profit margins will be improved and both the incentive to invest and the supply of internal funds for investment will be increased. There will be new interest in taking risks, in increasing productivity, in creating new jobs and new products for long-term economic growth." 
- Amendments to the Fair Labor Standards Act in 1961 greatly expanded the FLSA's scope in the retail trade sector and increased the minimum wage for previously covered workers to $1.15 an hour effective September 1961 and to $1.25 an hour in September 1963. The minimum for workers newly subject to the Act was set at $1.00 an hour effective September 1961, $1.15 an hour in September 1964, and $1.25 an hour in September 1965. Retail and service establishments were allowed to employ full-time students at wages of no more than 15 percent below the minimum with proper certification from the Department of Labor. The amendments extended coverage to employees of retail trade enterprises with sales exceeding $1 million annually, although individual establishments within those covered enterprises were exempt if their annual sales fell below $250,000. The concept of enterprise coverage was introduced by the 1961 amendments. Those amendments extended coverage in the retail trade industry from an established 250,000 workers to 2.2 million.
- An Executive Order was issued (1962) which provided federal employees with collective bargaining rights. 
- The Federal Salary Reform Act (1962) established the principle of "maintaining federal white-collar wages at a level with those paid to employees performing similar jobs in private enterprises." 
- A Postal Service and Federal Employees Salary Act was passed (1962) to reform Federal white-collar statutory salary systems, adjust postal rates, and establish a standard for adjusting annuities under the Civil Service Retirement Act.  This legislation marked the first time that a consistent guideline for regular increases was applied to the national pay scales for federal white-collar and postal employees. 
- The Contract Work Hours and Safety Standards Act (1962) established "standards for hours, overtime compensation, and safety for employees working on federal and federally funded contracts and subcontracts". 
- An 11-member Missile Site Labor Commission was established "to develop procedures for settling disputes on the government's 22 missile bases." 
- A pilot program was launched to train and place youths in jobs. 
- Paid overtime was granted to workers on government financed construction jobs for work in excess of 40 hours. 
- Scholarships and student loans were broadened under existing laws by Kennedy, and new means of specialized aid to education were invented or expanded by the president, including an increase in funds for libraries and school lunches, the provision of funds to teach the deaf, children with physical or cognitive disabilities, and gifted children, the authorization of literacy training under Manpower Development, the allocation of president funds to stop dropouts, a quadrupling of vocational education, and working together with schools on delinquency. Altogether, these measures attacked serious educational problems and freed up local funds for use on general construction and salaries. 
- Various measures were introduced which aided educational television, college dormitories, medical education, and community libraries. 
- The Educational Television Facilities Act (1962) provided federal grants for new station construction, enabling in-class-room instructional television to operate in thousands of elementary schools, offering primarily religious instruction, music, and arts. 
- The Health Professions Educational Assistance Act (1963) provided $175 million over a three-year period for matching grants for the construction of facilities for teaching physicians, dentists, nurses, podiatrists, optometrists, pharmacists, and other health professionals. The Act also created a loan program of up to $2000 per annum for students of optometry, dentistry, and medicine. 
- The Vocational Education Act (1963) significantly increased enrollment in vocational education. 
- A law was enacted (1961) to encourage and facilitate the training of teachers of the deaf. 
- The Fulbright-Hays Act of 1961 enlarged the scope of the Fulbright program while extending it geographically. 
- An estimated one-third of all major New Frontier programs made some form of education a vital element, and the Office of Education called it "the most significant legislative period in its hundred-year history". 
- The McIntire–Stennis Act of 1962 provided federal financial support to universities and colleges for forestry research and graduate education. 
- Unemployment and welfare benefits were expanded. 
- In 1961, Social Security benefits were increased by 20% and provision for early retirement was introduced, enabling workers to retire at the age of sixty-two while receiving partial benefits. 
- The Social Security Amendments of 1961 permitted male workers to elect early retirement age 62, increased minimum benefits, liberalized the benefit payments to aged widow, widower, or surviving dependent parent, and also liberalized eligibility requirements and the retirement test. 
- The 1962 amendments to the Social Security Act authorized the federal government to reimburse states for the provision of social services. 
- The School Lunch Act was amended for authority to begin providing free meals in poverty-stricken areas. 
- A pilot food stamp program was launched (1961), covering six areas in the United States. In 1962, the program was extended to eighteen areas, feeding 240,000 people. 
- Various school lunch and school milk programs were extended, "enabling 700,000 more children to enjoy a hot school lunch and eighty-five thousand more schools, child care centers, and camps to receive fresh milk". 
- ADC was extended to whole families (1961). 
- Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) replaced the Aid to Dependent Children (ADC) program, as coverage was extended to adults caring for dependent children. 
- A major revision of the public welfare laws was carried out, with a $300 million modernisation which emphasised rehabilitation instead of relief". 
- A temporary antirecession supplement to unemployment compensation was introduced. 
- Food distribution to needy Americans was increased.  In January 1961, the first executive order issued by Kennedy mandated that the Department of Agriculture increase the quantity and variety of foods donated for needy households. This executive order represented a shift in the Commodity Distribution Programs' primary purpose, from surplus disposal to that of providing nutritious foods to low-income households. 
- Social Security benefits were extended to an additional five million Americans. 
- The Self-Employed Individuals Tax Retirement Act (1962) provided self-employed people with a tax postponement for income set aside in qualified pension plans. 
- The Public Welfare Amendments of 1962 provided for greater Federal sharing in the cost of rehabilitative services to applicants, recipients, and persons likely to become applicants for public assistance. It increased the Federal share in the cost of public assistance payments, and permitted the States to combine the various categories into one category. The amendments also made permanent the 1961 amendment which extended aid to dependent children to cover children removed from unsuitable homes. 
- Federal funds were made available for the payment of foster care costs for AFDC-eligible children who had come into state custody. 
- An act was approved (1963) which extended for one year the period during which responsibility for the placement and foster care of dependent children, under the program of aid to families with dependent children under Title IV of the Social Security Act. 
- Federal civil service retirement benefits were index-linked to changes in the Consumer Price Index (1962). 
Civil rights Edit
- Various measures were carried out by the Kennedy Justice Department to enforce court orders and existing legislation. The Kennedy Administration promoted a Voter Education Project which led to 688,800 between 1 April 1962 and 1 November 1964, while the Civil Rights Division brought over forty-two suits in four states in order to secure voting rights for Black people. In addition, Kennedy supported the anti-poll tax amendment, which cleared Congress in September 1962 (although it was not ratified until 1964 as the Twenty-fourth Amendment). As noted by one student of Black voting in the South, in relation to the attempts by the Kennedy Administration to promote civil rights, "Whereas the Eisenhower lawyers had moved deliberately, the Kennedy-Johnson attorneys pushed the judiciary far more earnestly."  (issued in 1961) combined the federal employment and government contractor agencies into a unified Committee on Equal Employment opportunity (CEEO). This new committee helped to put an end to segregation and discriminatory employment practices (such as only employing African-Americans for low-skilled jobs) in a number of workplaces across the United States.  banned discrimination in federally funded housing.
- The Interstate Commerce Commission made Jim Crow illegal in interstate transportation, having been put under pressure to do so by both the Freedom Riders and the Department of Justice.
- Employment of African-Americans in federal jobs such as in the Post office, the Navy, and the Veterans Administration as a result of the Kennedy Administration's affirmative action policies. 
- The Kennedy Administration forbade government contractors from discriminating against any applicant or employee for employment on the grounds of national origin, color, creed, or race. 
- The Plan for Progress was launched by the CEEO to persuade large employers to adopt equal opportunity practices. By 1964 268 firms with 8 million employees had signed on to this, while a nationwide study covering the period from May 1961 to June 1963 of 103 corporations "showed a Negro gain from 28,940 to 42,738 salaried and from 171,021 to 198,161 hourly paid jobs". 
- The most comprehensive housing and urban renewal program in American history up until that point was carried out, including the first major provisions for middle-income housing, protection of urban open spaces, public mass transit, and private low-income housing.  Housing Bill 1961. In March 1961 President Kennedy sent Congress a special message, proposing an ambitious and complex housing program to spur the economy, revitalize cities, and provide affordable housing for middle- and low-income families. The bill proposed spending $3.19 billion and placed major emphasis on improving the existing housing supply, instead of on new housing starts, and creating a cabinet-level Department of Housing and Urban Affairs to oversee the programs. The bill also promised to make the Federal Housing Administration a full partner in urban renewal program by authorizing mortgage loans to finance rehabilitation of homes and urban renewal Committee on housing combined programs for housing, mass transportation, and open space land bills into a single bill.
- Urban renewal grants were increased from $2 to $4 million, while an additional 100,000 units of public housing were constructed.
- Opportunities were provided for coordinated planning of community development: technical assistance to state and local governments.
- Under the Kennedy Administration, there was a change of focus from a wrecker ball approach to small rehabilitation projects in order to preserve existing 'urban textures'.
- Funds for housing for the elderly were increased. 
- Title V of the Housing Act was amended (1961) to make nonfarm rural residents eligible for direct housing loans from the Farmers Home Administration. These changes extended the housing program to towns with a population of up to 2,500. 
- The Senior Citizens Housing Act (1962) established loans for low-rent apartment projects which were "designed to meet the needs of people age 62 and over". 
- To help the unemployed, Kennedy broadened the distribution of surplus food, created a "pilot" Food Stamp program for poor Americans, directed that preference be given to distressed areas in defense contracts, and expanded the services of U.S. Employment Offices. 
- Social security benefits were extended to each child whose father was unemployed. 
- The first accelerated public works program for areas of unemployment since the New Deal was launched. 
- The first full-scale modernization and expansion of the vocational education laws since 1946 were carried out. 
- Federal grants were provided to the states enabling them to extend the period covered by unemployment benefit. 
- The Manpower Development and Training Act of 1962 authorized a three-year program aimed at retraining workers displaced by new technology. The bill did not exclude employed workers from benefiting and it authorized a training allowance for unemployed participants. Even though 200,000 people were recruited, there was minimal impact, comparatively. The Area Redevelopment Act, a $394 million spending package passed in 1961, followed a strategy of investing in the private sector to stimulate new job creation. It specifically targeted businesses in urban and rural depressed areas and authorized $4.5 million annually over four years for vocational training programs.
- The 1963 amendments to the National Defense Education Act included $731 million in appropriations to states and localities maintaining vocational training programs. 
- In 1963, Kennedy, who had a mentally ill sister named Rosemary, submitted the nation's first presidential special message to Congress on mental health issues. Congress quickly passed the Mental Retardation Facilities and Community Mental Health Centers Construction Act (P.L. 88-164), beginning a new era in Federal support for mental health services. The National Institute of Mental Health assumed responsibility for monitoring community mental health centers programs.  This measure was a great success as there was a sixfold increase in people using Mental Health facilities.
- A Medical Health Bill for the Aged (later known as Medicare) was proposed, but Congress failed to enact it.
- The Community Health Services and Facilities Act (1961) increased the amount of funds available for nursing home construction and extended the research and demonstration grant program to other medical facilities. 
- The Health Services for Agricultural Migratory Workers Act (1962) established "a program of federal grants for family clinics and other health services for migrant workers and their families". 
- The first major amendments to the food and drug safety laws since 1938 were carried out.  The Drug Amendments of 1962 amended the Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (1938) by strengthening the provisions related to the regulation of therapeutic drugs. The Act required evidence that new drugs proposed for marketing were both safe and effective, and required improved manufacturing processes and procedures. 
- The responsibilities of the Food and Drug Administration were significantly enlarged by the Kefauver-Harris Drug Amendments (1962). 
- The Vaccination Assistance Act (1962) provided for the vaccination of millions of children against a number of diseases. 
- The Social Security Act Amendments of 1963 improved medical services for disabled children  and established a new project grant program to improve prenatal care for women from low-income families with very high risks of mental disability and other birth defects. Authorizations for grants to the states under the Maternal and Child Health and Crippled Children's programs were also increased and a research grant program was added. 
- The Mental Retardation Facilities Construction Act of 1963 authorized federal support for the construction of university-affiliated training facilities, mental disability research centers, and community service facilities for adults and children with mental disability. 
Equal rights for women Edit
The Presidential Commission on the Status of Women was an advisory commission established on December 14, 1961, by Kennedy to investigate questions regarding women's equality in education, in the workplace, and under the law.  The commission, chaired by Eleanor Roosevelt until her death in 1962, was composed of 26 members including legislators, labor union activists and philanthropists who were active in women's rights issues. The main purpose of the committee was to document and examine employment policies in place for women. The commission's final report, American Woman (also known as the Peterson Report after the commission's second chair, Esther Peterson), was issued in October 1963 and documented widespread discrimination against women in the workplace. Among the practices addressed by the group were labor laws pertaining to hours and wages, the quality of legal representation for women, the lack of education and counseling for working women, and federal insurance and tax laws that affected women's incomes. Recommendations included affordable child care for all income levels, hiring practices that promoted equal opportunity for women, and paid maternity leave. 
The commission, reflecting the views of Roosevelt and the labor unions, opposed the Equal Rights Amendment.
In the early 1960s, full-time working women were paid on average 59 percent of the earnings of their male counterparts. In order to eliminate some forms of sex-based pay discrimination, Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law on June 10, 1963.  During the law's first ten years, 171,000 employees received back pay totaling about 84 million dollars. 
- The Clean Air Act (1963) expanded the powers of the federal government in preventing and controlling air pollution.
- The first major additions to the National Park System since 1946 were made, which included the preservation of wilderness areas and a fund for future acquisitions. 
- The water pollution prevention program was doubled. 
- More aid was provided to localities to combat water pollution. 
- The Rivers and Harbors Act of 1962 reiterated and expanded upon "previous authorizations for outdoor recreation." 
- A new Housing Act of 1961 extended the Farmers Home Administration housing loan assistance for the first time to nonfarm rural residents and providers of low-cost housing for domestic farm laborers. The Farmers Home Administration was therefore able to expand its rural housing loans from less than $70 million to nearly $500 million in 1965, or about enough to provide for 50,000 new or rehabilitated housing units. 
- A 1962 farm bill expanded government food donation programs at home and abroad and provided federal aid to farmers who converted crop land to nonfarm income-producing uses. 
- Title III of the Food and Agriculture Act of 1962 consolidated and expanded existing loan programs, thereby providing the Farmers Home Administration with increased flexibility in helping a broader spectrum of credit-risky farmers to purchase land and amass working capital. In addition, the Farmers Home Administration assumed responsibility for community water system loans. 
- Under the Rural Renewal Program of 1962, the USDA provided technical and financial assistance for locally initiated and sponsored programs aimed at ending chronic underemployment and fostering a sound rural economy. Loans were made to local groups to establish small manufacturing plants, to build hospitals, to establish recreation areas, and to carry out similar developmental activities. 
Under Kennedy, the first significant package of anticrime bills since 1934 were passed.  The Kennedy Administration's anticrime measures included the Juvenile Delinquency and Youth Offenses Control Act, which was signed into law on September 22, 1961. This program aimed to prevent youth from committing delinquent acts. In 1963, 288 mobsters were brought to trial by a team that was headed by Kennedy's brother, Robert.
The Kennedy administration with its new Secretary of Defense, Robert S. McNamara, gave a strong priority to countering communist political subversion and guerrilla tactics in the "wars of national liberation" to decolonize the Third World, long held in Western vassalage. As well as fighting and winning a nuclear war, the American military was also trained and equipped for counterinsurgency operations. Though the U.S. Army Special Forces had been created in 1952, Kennedy visited the Fort Bragg U.S. Army Special Warfare Center in a blaze of publicity and gave his permission for the Special Forces to adopt the green beret. The other services launched their own counterinsurgency forces in 1961 the U.S. Air Force created the 1st Air Commando Group and the U.S. Navy created the Navy Seals.
The U.S. military increased in size and faced possible confrontation with the Soviets with the construction of the Berlin Wall in 1961 and with the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. American troops were sent to Laos and South Vietnam in increasing numbers. The United States provided a clandestine operation to supply military aid and support to Cuban exiles in the disastrous Bay of Pigs Invasion.
The "New Frontier" has been criticized for an application of settler colonialism and the manifest destiny ideology to space, perpetuating imperialism and a narrative of colonial exploration as fundamental to the assumed human nature.    
Second Emancipation Proclamation (1962)
The Second Emancipation Proclamation was an envisioned executive order proposed by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other leaders of the civil rights movement which they urged President John F. Kennedy to issue. As the Emancipation Proclamation was an executive order issued by Abraham Lincoln to free all the slaves in states at war with the Union on January 1, 1863, the Second Emancipation Proclamation was designed to end racial segregation.
The idea of the Second Emancipation Proclamation evolved from conversations King had with his legal adviser, Clarence B. Jones. King believed they needed to get President Kennedy to issue a Second Emancipation Proclamation on the anniversary of the first one. On June 6, 1961, King announced the idea during a New York City press conference where he reminded those in attendance of President Lincoln’s famous statement that the United States could not exist half-slave and half-free and that the Kennedy administration should recognize that the contemporary United States could not exist half-segregated and half-segregation free. Jones and a team of legal scholars, including members of the Gandhi Society for Human Rights, began to prepare the proposal, while King continued publicize the idea.
During the tour of the Lincoln Sitting Room in October 1961, King introduced the idea to President Kennedy, pressing him for a proclamation “outlawing segregation.” Kennedy told King that he would take it under consideration and asked the civil rights leader to draft the proposal. Two months later, while King led the campaign against segregation in Albany, Georgia, he sent President Kennedy a telegram, urging him to take action on the proposal.
On March 24, 1962, King announced that President Kennedy had invited him to submit a second Emancipation Proclamation for the president’s signature. King and his legal staff promised to have the document ready on May 17, 1962, the eighth anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education decision. The preamble to the document that King and his advisers drafted referenced Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, Frederick Douglass’s autobiography, and Kennedy’s own book, Strategy for Peace. The document cited hundreds of legal precedents, including Harry S. Truman’s military desegregation order in 1948, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Emancipation Proclamation. The document called on President Kennedy to use the powers of the executive office to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination.
Despite having invited its presentation, Kennedy did not issue a second Emancipation Proclamation and notably avoided all centennial celebrations of the original Emancipation Proclamation. On November 20, 1962, Kennedy did issue Executive Order 11063, prohibiting racial discrimination in federally-supported housing or related facilities. He also introduced an omnibus civil rights bill to Congress after his civil rights address on national television and radio on June 11, 1963. The demands of the Second Emancipation were not filled until President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act that outlawed segregation.
Kennedy announces the quarantine of Cuba (1962)
On October 22nd 1962, President John F. Kennedy appeared on American network television to announce a naval quarantine of Cuba, in response to the presence of Soviet missiles there:
“Good evening my fellow citizens:
This Government, as promised, has maintained the closest surveillance of the Soviet military buildup on the island of Cuba. Within the past week, unmistakable evidence has established the fact that a series of offensive missile sites is now in preparation on that imprisoned island. The purpose of these bases can be none other than to provide a nuclear strike capability against the Western Hemisphere…
The characteristics of these new missile sites indicate two distinct types of installations. Several of them include medium-range ballistic missiles, capable of carrying a nuclear warhead for a distance of more than 1,000 nautical miles. Each of these missiles, in short, is capable of striking Washington, D. C., the Panama Canal, Cape Canaveral, Mexico City, or any other city in the southeastern part of the United States, in Central America, or in the Caribbean area…
This urgent transformation of Cuba into an important strategic base – by the presence of these large, long-range and clearly offensive weapons of sudden mass destruction – constitutes an explicit threat to the peace and security of all the Americas… This action also contradicts the repeated assurances of Soviet spokesmen, both publicly and privately delivered, that the arms buildup in Cuba would retain its original defensive character, and that the Soviet Union had no need or desire to station strategic missiles. on the territory of any other nation…
Only last Thursday, as evidence of this rapid offensive buildup, was already in my hand, Soviet Foreign Minister Gromyko told me in my office that he was instructed to make it clear once again, as he said his government had already done, that Soviet assistance to Cuba, and I quote, “pursued solely the purpose of contributing to the defense capabilities of Cuba,” that, and I quote him, “training by Soviet specialists of Cuban nationals in handling defensive armaments was by no means offensive, and if it were otherwise,” Mr Gromyko went on, “the Soviet Government would never become involved in rendering such assistance.” That statement also was false.
Neither the United States of America nor the world community of nations can tolerate deliberate deception and offensive threats on the part of any nation, large or small. We no longer live in a world where only the actual firing of weapons represents a sufficient challenge to a nation’s security to constitute maximum peril. Nuclear weapons are so destructive and ballistic missiles are so swift, that any substantially increased possibility of their use or any sudden change in their deployment may well be regarded as a definite threat to peace…
In that sense, missiles in Cuba add to an already clear and present danger – although it should be noted the nations of Latin America have never previously been subjected to a potential nuclear threat. But this secret, swift, and extraordinary buildup of Communist missiles – in an area well known to have a special and historical relationship to the United States and the nations of the Western Hemisphere, in violation of Soviet assurances, and in defiance of American and hemispheric policy – this sudden, clandestine decision to station strategic weapons for the first time outside of Soviet soil – is a deliberately provocative and unjustified change in the status quo which cannot be accepted by this country…
Acting, therefore, in the defence of our own security and of the entire Western Hemisphere, and under the authority entrusted to me by the Constitution as endorsed by the Resolution of the Congress, I have directed that the following initial steps be taken immediately:
First: To halt this offensive buildup, a strict quarantine on all offensive military equipment under shipment to Cuba is being initiated. All ships of any kind bound for Cuba from whatever nation or port will, if found to contain cargoes of offensive weapons, be turned back. This quarantine will be extended, if needed, to other types of cargo and carriers. We are not at this time, however, denying the necessities of life as the Soviets attempted to do in their Berlin blockade of 1948.
Second: I have directed the continued and increased close surveillance of Cuba and its military buildup. The foreign ministers of the OAS, In their communiqué’ of October 6, rejected secrecy on such matters in this hemisphere. Should these offensive military preparations continue, thus increasing the threat to the hemisphere, further action will be justified. I have directed the Armed Forces to prepare for any eventualities and I trust that in the interest of both the Cuban people and the Soviet technicians at the sites, the hazards to all concerned of continuing this threat will be recognised.
Third: It shall be the policy of this Nation to regard any nuclear missile launched from Cuba against any nation in the Western Hemisphere as an attack by the Soviet Union on the United States, requiring a full retaliatory response upon the Soviet Union.
Fourth: As a necessary military precaution, I have reinforced our base at Guantanamo, evacuated today the dependents of our personnel there, and ordered additional military units to be on a standby alert basis.
Fifth: We are calling tonight for an immediate meeting of the Organ of Consultation under the Organisation of American States… Our other allies around the world have also been alerted.
Sixth: Under the Charter of the United Nations, we are asking tonight that an emergency meeting of the Security Council be convoked without delay to take action against this latest Soviet threat to world peace. Our resolution will call for the prompt dismantling and withdrawal of all offensive weapons in Cuba, under the supervision of UN observers, before the quarantine can be lifted.
Seventh and finally: I call upon Chairman Khrushchev to halt and eliminate this clandestine, reckless, and provocative threat to world peace and to stable relations between our two nations. I call upon him further to abandon this course of world domination, and to join in an historic effort to end the perilous arms race and to transform the history of man. He has an opportunity now to move the world back from the abyss of destruction-by returning to his government’s own words that it had no need to station missiles outside its own territory, and withdrawing these weapons from Cuba-by refraining from any action which will widen or deepen the present crisis-and then by participating in a search for peaceful and permanent solutions.
This Nation is prepared to present its case against the Soviet threat to peace, and our own proposals for a peaceful world, at any time and in any forum – in the OAS, in the United Nations, or in any other meeting that could be useful- without limiting our freedom of action… We have no wish to war with the Soviet Union—for we are a peaceful people who desire to live in peace with all other peoples…
Finally, I want to say a few words to the captive people of Cuba, to whom this speech is being directly carried by special radio facilities. I speak to you as a friend, as one who knows of your deep attachment to your fatherland, as one who shares your aspirations for liberty and justice for all. And I have watched and the American people have watched with deep sorrow how your nationalist revolution was betrayed-and how your fatherland fell under foreign domination. Now your leaders are no longer Cuban leaders inspired by Cuban ideals. They are puppets and agents of an international conspiracy which has turned Cuba against your friends and neighbours in the Americas-and turned it into the first Latin American country to become a target for nuclear war — the first Latin American country to have these weapons on its soil…
My fellow citizens: let no one doubt that this is a difficult and dangerous effort on which we have set out. No one can foresee precisely what course it will take or what costs or casualties will be incurred. Many months of sacrifice and self-discipline lie ahead—months in which both our patience and our will will be tested—months in which many threats and denunciations will keep us aware of our dangers. But the greatest danger of all would be to do nothing.
The path we have chosen for the present is full of hazards, as all paths are—but it is the one most consistent with our character and courage as a nation and our commitments around the world. The cost of freedom is always high-but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender or submission.
Our goal is not the victory of might, but the vindication of right-not peace at the expense of freedom, but both peace and freedom, here in this hemisphere, and, we hope, around the world. God willing, that goal will be achieved.
Thank you and good night.”
JFK. A Motorcade. A Rifle. But this Wasn’t Dallas.
Stephen F. Knott is a professor of national security affairs at the United States Naval War College.
JFK in Springfield, Illinois, October 1962
It was Springfield, Illinois – at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Recently discovered evidence in the archives of the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston shows there was a serious breach of security in the midst of the Cuban Missile Crisis that could have altered the course of history.
The Cuban Missile Crisis is one of the most over-analyzed events in American history, so much so that it is hard to believe there is anything new to learn about the most nerve-wracking confrontation of the Cold War. Yet Americans both then and now were unaware of how close history came to be altered by President Kennedy’s assassination, in, of all places, Springfield, Illinois, the home and final resting place of Abraham Lincoln, on October 19, 1962, four days into the missile crisis.
John F. Kennedy left the White House that October morning in order to divert the media from the fact that a crisis was unfolding in the Caribbean. The President kept a previous commitment to travel to Illinois to campaign for Democratic congressional candidates in the 1962 off-year election. In the interim, Kennedy instructed his ExComm – Executive Committee of the National Security Council – to come up with options to present to him upon his return to Washington.
Springfield’s hometown newspaper, the Illinois State Journal, reported that morning on the president’s impending visit, laying out in detail Kennedy’s schedule and his motorcade route, including a thorough account of whether a particular vehicle would contain Secret Service agents, some of whom were even mentioned by name. Kennedy’s first stop was a visit to the tomb of his martyred predecessor, Abraham Lincoln. On his way to the tomb, two men were spotted along the motorcade route with a rifle, after Kennedy’s motorcade had driven by, but before it was scheduled to return on the same route, some 30 minutes later. The Secret Service would later report that “a few minutes after the motorcade passed, an employee of the Illinois Department of Public Safety saw a rifle barrel with telescopic sight protruding from a second-story window.” Two men, brothers-in-law aged 20 and 16, were taken into custody. The report continued, “A .22 caliber semi-automatic rifle and a full box of .22 long rifle ammunition was seized.” Both men admitted “pointing the gun out the window on the parade route. However, they claimed that they had merely been testing the power of the telescopic sight to determine if it would be worthwhile to remove it in order to get a better look at the President when the motorcade returned. As there was no evidence to the contrary, and neither man had any previous record, prosecution was declined.” Two men, with a box of ammunition, who were apparently planning to share a telescopic rifle sight to “get a better look at the President.”
Had President Kennedy been killed or wounded, Vice President Lyndon Johnson, who, as historian Sheldon Stern has noted, wavered between a hawkish position and a more conciliatory stance regarding the missiles in Cuba, would have faced an impossible situation. Knowing of the Soviet deception in Cuba, how much of a leap would it have been to assume that the president had been murdered as part of a larger effort by the Soviets to launch some type of surprise, coordinated attack? Evidence that Johnson might have responded with force after an assassination attempt on President Kennedy can be found in the secret recordings of the ExComm’s deliberations. At one point Johnson was asked by Secretary of State Dean Rusk whether the United States would be forced to respond militarily. Johnson noted, “I think you’re at that point,” since the public would likely demand action, and while “the President made a fine speech,” the public would want to know “what else have you done?” There was a “great feeling of insecurity” in the country, Johnson added.
Even if Johnson did not have evidence linking the Soviets or the Cubans to an assassination attempt, the American public might well have drawn that link, particularly after learning about the missiles in Cuba, and demanded a harsh response. Planning and conducting a state funeral, not to mention dealing with all the emotions surrounding the death of a young president, in the midst of the worst crisis of the Cold War would have compounded an already delicate situation beyond measure. It seems likely that Lyndon Johnson, unsure of himself in the foreign policy realm, would have followed the advice of the majority of Kennedy’s ExComm, and launched some type of attack.
Tragically, while lessons may have been learned from the missile crisis, nothing was learned from the events in Springfield in October, 1962. Despite the fact that a rifle with a telescopic sight emerged from the upper floor of a building overlooking a presidential motorcade route, carrying a president who insisted on not being sheltered inside a protective bubble, presidential protection practices remained the same. In Springfield, the rifleman held his fire for whatever reason, perhaps waiting for the President’s return trip, or perhaps he was telling the truth about simply wanting to “get a better look” at JFK. Thirteen months later, under similar circumstances, after gunshots echoed throughout Dealey Plaza, some in the Secret Service must have wished that the episode in the shadow of Lincoln’s Tomb had been taken more seriously.
Meet JFK's Alleged Mistresses &ndash and How Some Met Mysterious Ends
What did Jackie really know? Get new details about her complicated marriage to JFK, suicidal despair after his death and how she found the strength to go on. Subscribe now to get instant access to this Kennedy confidential, only in PEOPLE!
Tales of President John F. Kennedy‘s infidelities during his 10-year marriage to First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy have circulated for more than half a century.
In this week’s cover story, PEOPLE profiles some of the women who claimed or were reported to be involved with the 35th president. Here’s what we know.
Exner, who served as a conduit between JFK and mobster Sam Giancana, famously claimed that she had an abortion after she became pregnant with the President’s child.
“Jack couldn’t have been more loving, more concerned about my feelings, more considerate, more gentle,” Exner, the daughter of a well-off architect, told PEOPLE of JFK in a 1988 interview.
Longtime gossip columnist Liz Smith, who wrote extensively about Exner in the years after the latter’s 1977 memoir My Story‘s publication, says Jackie was unsurprised — and fascinated — by what she learned.
“Her good friends Truman Capote and Gore Vidal told me she knew all about Judith Exner and everybody else, and she read my stories on Judith with high interest,” Smith says.
Exner died at age 65 in 1999 after a battle with breast cancer.
JFK’s relationship with sultry actress Monroe has long been the subject of speculation, spurred by her iconic “Happy Birthday” performance for the Commander-in-Chief at a May 1962 Madison Square Garden fundraiser.
In his 1997 book The Dark Side of Camelot, journalist Seymour Hersh wrote that the star’s “instability posed a constant threat” to the President before she mysteriously overdosed at age 36 in 1962.
Mary Pinchot Meyer
The sister-in-law of legendary Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee chronicled their alleged affair in her diary, Bradlee later revealed.
Earlier this year, a handwritten love letter from JFK to Meyer surfaced in an online auction from Boston’s RR Auction.
“Why don’t you leave suburbia for once — come and see me — either here — or at the Cape next week or in Boston the 19th,” Kennedy wrote in the four-page letter. “I know it is unwise, irrational, and that you may hate it — on the other hand you may not — and I will love it.”
He continued, “You say that it is good for me not to get what I want. After all of these years — you should give me a more loving answer than that. Why don’t you just say yes.”
Meyer was murdered in Georgetown in October 1964. Shot twice at a close range, her death is still unresolved and has often been associated with JFK-related conspiracy theories.
As a White House intern in 1962, Alford claimed to begin an 18-month relationship with JFK — an affair outlined in her explosive 2012 memoir, Once Upon a Secret: My Affair With John F. Kennedy and Its Aftermath.
She found the President “magnetic” but told PEOPLE in 2012 that “he wasn’t looking for a relationship to replace his marriage.”
Alford also wrote that her alleged dalliances with JFK were arranged by the President’s special assistant Dave Powers — the “procurer” of willing women, according to Kennedy biographer Laurence Leamer.
RELATED VIDEO: Natalie Portman Reveals How Motherhood Made Preparing for Her Role as Jackie Even Harder
Cowan was a secretary in the White House Press Office and often accompanied the president on official trips. She never commented on the details of their relationship.
She did however, say that JFK was scinated with youth” in a 1965 oral history housed at the JFK Library. She also said in the same interview how much he admired his wife, noting he was “very proud of the fact Mrs. Kennedy had kept a book of all the place settings and pictures of the flowers, the whole sort of personal touches in the White House.”
Wear also was a White House staff member who worked under JFK’s secretary, Evelyn Lincoln.
The alleged affair was apparently something that Jackie was aware of, according to Barbara Gamarekian, a Kennedy press aide.
While speaking in French to a Paris-Match reporter, Jackie commented about Wear, Gamarekian recalled in an oral history housed at the JFK Library.
“Mrs. Kennedy said, ‘This is the girl who supposedly is sleeping with my husband,’ and the reporter was utterly taken aback.”
Mr. Darrell's Wayback Machine
John F. Kennedy at Rice University, Houston, Texas, Sept 12, 1962 - photo from NASA
There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation many never come again. But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?
We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.
President John F. Kennedy, September 12, 1962, at Rice University, Houston, Texas
Why this speech in Houston? There’s more here than just a speech in a football stadium. Kennedy was working to save the space initiative, and to make America more secure.
In this quest, Kennedy lays out the reasons we need strong science research programs funded by our federal government, and strong science educational achievement in all of our schools.
Race to the Moon
President John F. Kennedy (1961-1963) awoke on April 12, 1961, to the news that the Soviet Union had won the race to put a man into space. Kennedy immediately met with Vice President Lyndon Johnson in the White House to discuss the embarrassment of the Soviets beating America again. “Can we put a man on the moon before them?” Kennedy asked. A few weeks later, Kennedy challenged the nation to “commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to earth.”
Kennedy challenged Congress and the imaginations of all Americans a few weeks later, when on May 25, in a special Joint Session of Congress, he proposed a Moon exploration program. In a speech outlining defense and foreign policy needs to make the U.S. secure and safe against threats from Soviet communism, or any other nation or faction, Kennedy spoke openly about the space race that had been waged since October 4, 1957, when the Soviet Union became the first nation on Earth to orbit an artificial satellite, Sputnik.
Finally, if we are to win the battle that is now going on around the world between freedom and tyranny, the dramatic achievements in space which occurred in recent weeks should have made clear to us all, as did the Sputnik in 1957, the impact of this adventure on the minds of men everywhere, who are attempting to make a determination of which road they should take. Since early in my term, our efforts in space have been under review. With the advice of the Vice President, who is Chairman of the National Space Council, we have examined where we are strong and where we are not, where we may succeed and where we may not. Now it is time to take longer strides–time for a great new American enterprise–time for this nation to take a clearly leading role in space achievement, which in many ways may hold the key to our future on earth.
I believe we possess all the resources and talents necessary. But the facts of the matter are that we have never made the national decisions or marshalled the national resources required for such leadership. We have never specified long-range goals on an urgent time schedule, or managed our resources and our time so as to insure their fulfillment.
Recognizing the head start obtained by the Soviets with their large rocket engines, which gives them many months of leadtime, and recognizing the likelihood that they will exploit this lead for some time to come in still more impressive successes, we nevertheless are required to make new efforts on our own. For while we cannot guarantee that we shall one day be first, we can guarantee that any failure to make this effort will make us last. We take an additional risk by making it in full view of the world, but as shown by the feat of astronaut Shepard, this very risk enhances our stature when we are successful. But this is not merely a race. Space is open to us now and our eagerness to share its meaning is not governed by the efforts of others. We go into space because whatever mankind must undertake, free men must fully share.
I therefore ask the Congress, above and beyond the increases I have earlier requested for space activities, to provide the funds which are needed to meet the following national goals:
First, I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth. No single space project in this period will be more impressive to mankind, or more important for the long-range exploration of space and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish. We propose to accelerate the development of the appropriate lunar space craft. We propose to develop alternate liquid and solid fuel boosters, much larger than any now being developed, until certain which is superior. We propose additional funds for other engine development and for unmanned explorations–explorations which are particularly important for one purpose which this nation will never overlook: the survival of the man who first makes this daring flight. But in a very real sense, it will not be one man going to the moon–if we make this judgment affirmatively, it will be an entire nation. For all of us must work to put him there.
The race was on. The Soviet Union’s massive rocket engines gave them a decided advantage. Kennedy’s challenge captured the imagination of Americans and America. Necessary money flowed from Congress, but not in a completely free flow. Some opposed the nation’s efforts in space exploration because they thought spending on space exploration detracted from the nation’s defense efforts. Kennedy continued to stress the connection between space exploration and defense. He was backed by successes — Navy Commander Alan Shepard, Jr., had successfully launched into space and returned safely and on February 20, 1962, pilot Marine Capt. John Glenn orbited the Earth three times, catching the U.S. up almost to where the Soviet Union was in manned space exploration.
Kennedy understood that constant attention, constant selling of the space program would be necessary. So in September 1962 he found himself in Houston, the newly-designated home of the manned space program, and he took the opportunity to cast the American goals in the space race as peaceful, good for all mankind, and definitely worth the massive costs.
Notice how he casts putting a human on the Moon in league with other great achievements of civilization. Kennedy was truly shooting for the stars.
Notice also how he relates space exploration to practical applications then in existence, such as communication, navigation of ships at sea, and weather forecasting. This was years before geosynchronus satellites were used for everyday telephone conversations, years before quantum theory was harnessed for Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and digital personal, handheld telephones, and before the newly-invented printed circuits were miniaturized to make computer calculating a possibility in space — the Moon landing was done with slide rules and hand calculations.
Just over 14 months later Kennedy would die in Texas, in Dallas, on November 22, 1963. On July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed the Eagle Lunar Module on the Moon, at the Sea of Tranquility. A few hours later, on July 21, they stepped out on the Moon. From Kennedy’s speech to Congress, the task had taken 8 years, one month and 26 days.