JFK: “We Choose To Go To The Moon”
Rice Stadium, September 12, 1962
Mirel Kraus Page | 1
14 December 2017
Throughout global history, both written and spoken forms of communication have led to triumphant victories or embarrassing failures for various nations of the world. Leaders have chosen specific times and places to communicate with their citizens, hoping for success.
Shortly after the Second World War, two world powers sought to enlarge their security zones. The entire world watched as these two nations attempted to prove their government the more successful by proving superiority in science, military, and outer-space technology. Rulers in each country played prominent roles in the Cold War, each showing their support for their nation’s beliefs by traveling the land, communicating with their population. One such leader, American President John F. Kennedy, was well known for his passionate speeches. A most famous speech, at Rice University football stadium gathered more than 40,000 spectators on September 12th, 1962. As their president spoke about reaching the moon before the Soviet Union, the crowd immediately felt as though they can accomplish the seemingly impossible, including sending a human to the moon. This optimistic feeling allowed for Kennedy’s well-chosen words to be a success when American astronaut Neil Armstrong took his first step on the moon less than ten years later, proving that The United States sustained a more successful government system.
The United States firmly believed in their Capitalist society. The U.S. government strongly supported free enterprise, an economy run by private ownership and investment.[footnoteRef:1] Leaders of the Soviet Union, on the other hand, contrilled their country with an authoritarian party, equally distributing the goods between the people.[footnoteRef:2] Rulers such as Stalin and Khrushchev were successful in creating a society which followed the principles of Karl Marx. The United States, along with Great Britain, disliked many Communist beliefs, including their rejection of religion and private property. The Soviets, in turn, feared that the United States would use their military power to attack.[footnoteRef:3] Thus, when the two came face to face in Berlin, crisis quickly developed. Yet the blockade around West Berlin, followed by the airlift and the building of the Berlin Wall, can be considered minor when compared to other events that took place during the Cold War. For almost fifty years, the Unites States and the Soviet Union faced a series of conflicts in various locations due to opposing views on Communism. [1: Michael Agnes, Websters New World College Dictionary. 4th ed. s.v. “Capitalism.”] [2: Ibid., s.v. “Communism.”] [3: Dr. James West Davidson and Dr. Michael B. Stoff, The American Nation (Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson/Prentice Hall, 2005), 810.]
What started off as a political conflict, quickly progressed and began to...