[ 2007-05-25 08:00 ]
|President Kennedy asked
Congress for millions to fund this "urgent
|1961: Kennedy pledges man on moon|
President John F Kennedy has called for millions of dollars to fund a
space programme to get the first man on the moon by 1970.
In a speech to a joint session of Congress broadcast on TV and radio
around the United States, he asked for an extra $1,700m on the federal
The largest proportion of this - $9,000m - would be spent on
researching and developing ways of getting an American on the moon by the
end of the decade.
"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 Earth," he said.
He said "this very urgent request" would not need to be funded by extra
taxes provided the economy continued to grow and companies exercised wage
and price restraint.
Russia's first man in space
This was his last address to the country before his meeting with Soviet
leader Nikita Khrushchev. He is still basking in the glory of Russia's
latest achievements in space exploration - last month Yuri Gagarin became
the first man in space.
Three weeks ago, when Alan Shepard became America's first astronaut,
President Kennedy said the country had to "work with the utmost speed and
vigour" to develop its space programme.
Today he demonstrated his total commitment to the project.
"If we were to go only half way or reduce our sights in the face of
difficulty," he said, "it would be better not to go at all."
The director of Nasa, James Webb, was encouraged by the president's
speech and said the US and the USSR were on a level playing field in their
ambitions to land a man on the moon because as yet no Russian rockets were
capable of such a mission.
Other Nasa officials told the Times newspaper that most of the funding
would be used to research ways of reaching the moon, surviving on it and
returning safely to Earth.
|The OAU headquarters are
in Addis Ababa|
1963: African states unite against white
The Leaders of 32
African nations have set up an organisation that will give them a united
voice for the first time in Africa's history.
The African summit conference ended today in Addis Ababa, capital of
Ethiopia, with an agreement from all delegates to found an Organisation of
Its primary aim will be to "decolonise" the remaining bastions of white rule in Southern
Rhodesia, South Africa, Mozambique and Angola.
It plans to support African "freedom fighters" with finance, arms,
volunteers and training bases and to close off their airspace to colonial
Heads of state were urged to impose sanctions on South Africa and break
off diplomatic relations. The conference also expressed concern about
racial discrimination in the United States.
"May this convention of union last 1,000 years." Emperor Halie Selassie
The OAU charter also states it will co-ordinate efforts to
raise the standard of living of member states and defend their
sovereignty. But its aim is to guide rather than lead an Africa that is
still finding its feet.
The organisation has four main institutions - an annual assembly of
heads of state, a council of ministers a general secretariat and a
commission of mediation, conciliation and arbitration. Addis Ababa will be
The conference host, 71-year-old Emperor Halie Selassie, has spent a
year preparing his city for the summit of African nations which represents
a total population of 200 million people.
He told delegates: "May this convention of union last 1,000 years." His
2,000 guests were then treated to a lavish banquet.
The charter will be signed tomorrow morning by all but Morocco which
sent an observer instead of an official because of the presence of
Mauritania with which it has a border dispute.