A Brief History
On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy made a bold announcement to Congress that the US “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.” Kennedy’s bold plan was later proven to be true, as the successful Apollo 11 moon landing took place in 1969. What may surprise you, is that at the time of Kennedy’s announcement, 58% of Americans opposed the idea!
Some other bold presidential plans, promises, and pronouncements have included:
1928: Presidential Candidate Herbert Hoover promising “A chicken in every pot and 2 cars in every garage!” Except he never said that! Democrats had disingenuously quoted a pro-Hoover ad that was not actually from the Hoover campaign.
1968-1973: Candidate and then President Richard Nixon promised “Victorious Peace” and then “Peace with Honor” in Vietnam. We were not victorious, nor did we leave with honor.
2001: President George W. Bush promised to get Osama bin Laden, mastermind of the 9/11 terror attacks, “Dead or Alive,” which he never did. The US eventually killed the terrorist, but not until 2011.
2015-2020: Candidate and then President Trump promising to replace “Obamacare” with a “terrific,” “phenomenal” and “fantastic” new national health care plan. In fact, no plan at all was ever proposed, let alone installed.
Question for students (and subscribers): Who is your favorite president? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
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For more information, please see…
Bindy, McGeorge and Edmund Muskie. Presidential Promises and Performance. The Free Press, 1980.
Harland, David. NASA’s Moon Program: Paving the Way for Apollo 11. Springer, 2009.
The featured image in this article, a photograph of President Kennedy delivering his proposal to put a man on the Moon before a joint session of Congress, May 25, 1961, is in the public domain in the United States because it was solely created by NASA. NASA copyright policy states that “NASA material is not protected by copyright unless noted“. (See Template:PD-USGov, NASA copyright policy page or JPL Image Use Policy.)
You can also watch video versions of this article on YouTube.