May 25, 1961
JFK SAYS US WILL PUT A MAN ON THE MOON IN THIS DECADE
President John F. Kennedy told Congress today that the United States will put a man on the moon “before this decade is out”.
“I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the moon & returning him safely to Earth.
No single space project will be more impressive to mankind….”
In what he dubbed as his “2nd State of the Union” message, JFK asked Congress to fund the massive cost of an accelerated space program.
The President estimates the cost of achieving this goal of putting a man on the moon to be between 7 & 9 billion dollars over a 5 year time span.*
*While JFK did not live to see it, Neil Armstrong & Buzz Aldrin were the 1st men from the planet Earth to walk on the Moon, July 20, 1969.
Neil Armstrong said as he stepped off the lunar lander:
“That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”
Sargent Shriver said in a documentary that there is no way you can really understand how “visionary” & “incredible” JFK’s statement, about landing a man on the moon, was on May 25, 1961.
Shriver said, “After all the moon has been up there a long time & we had been down here & no one ever thought about it ever being possible for a man to walk on the moon.”
JFK Speaking to Congress
VP Johnson & House Speaker Rayburn
May 25, 1961
In yesterday’s “NY Times” there was a fine essay by John Noble Wilford titled “Race to Space, Through the Lens of Time”.
Wilford writes that JFK was so frustrated in 1961 that the US was behind in the space race, at one point he said:
“If somebody can, just tell me how to catch up. Let’s find somebody–anybody. I don’t care if it’s the janitor over there.”
If you want more detailed information on “Space”, may I recommend Amy Teitel’s “Vintage Space”. While she has not personally walked on the moon, she probably knows more about space than many of those who have. I have a link to her site on this blog.
May 25, 1962
JFK HOSTS CONSERVATION CONFERENCE
There have not been that many conferences held at the White House on the topic of conservation of our natural resources. Today, President Kennedy hosted the 1st since Theodore Roosevelt was President.
In speaking to the participants, JFK said:
“The issue involves not only all the people of this nation but in a very real sense all the people of the world.”
The President went on to say that he would like his administration to be identified with the cause of conservation.
May 25, 1946
JOSEPH GARGAN DIES
Rose Kennedy’s brother-in-law, the widower of Rose’s sister, Mary Agnes Fitzgerald Gargan, died today.
Mary Agnes Gargan died in 1936.
Joseph Gargan is survived by 3 children: Joseph , Mary Jo & Ann.*
*Ann Gargan served Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. as his chauffeur, was with him at the golf course on the day in December 1961 when he suffered a stroke & cared for him until his death.
Behind Joe Kennedy, Sr. are
Frank Saunders* & Ann Gargin
*Saunders was Rose Kennedy’s chauffeur
May 25, 1941
JOE KENNEDY SPEAKS AT OGLETHORPE COMMENCEMENT
Former Ambassador to Great Britain under FDR, Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr., spoke today at the commencement exercises of Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, Georgia.
Kennedy told the graduates that the United States should not enter the war in Europe but should “give every aid to Great Britain”.
Mr. Kennedy was awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws degree.
May 25, 1935
BABE RUTH HITS 714th CAREER HOME RUN
George Herman “Babe” Ruth hit his 714th career home run today.
Ruth had a very good day at the plate. He went 4 for 4 hitting 3 home runs & had 6 RBIs.*
*This will be Babe Ruth’s last home run. His mark of 714 will stand for 39 years. It was broken on April 8, 1974 by Atlanta Braves slugger Hank Aaron.
George Herman “Babe” Ruth
May 25, 1787
CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION MEETS
A meeting to either revise or replace the ineffectual “Articles of Confederation” convened today in Philadelphia.
On hand were 55 delegates representing 12 of the 13 colonies. Only Rhode Island did not send a delegation.
Attending the convention include George Washington & James Madison of Virginia, & Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania.
The meetings will be held at the Pennsylvania State House.*
*The delegates decide very early on to replace the “Articles”. They create a federal system of government with 3 branches: executive, legislative & judicial. The branches will be co-equal in power with a system of “checks & balances” put in place.
The Constitution was signed on September 17, 1787 & then sent to state conventions for ratification.
Assembly Room at the State House
Photo by Dan Smith (2005)