Going To The Moon with JFK

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No man can fully grasp how far and how fast we have come, but condense, if you will, the 50 thousand years of
man's recorded history in a time span of but a half-century.

Stated in these terms,
we know very little about the first 40 years, except at the end of them
advanced man had learned to use the skins of animals
to cover them.

Then about 10 years ago,
under this standard, man emerged from his caves
to construct other kinds
of shelter.

Only five years ago man
learned to write and use a cart
with wheels.

Christianity began
less than two years ago.
The printing press came this year, and then
less than two months ago,
during this whole 50-year span
of human history, the steam engine provided
a new source of power.

Newton explored the meaning of gravity. Last month
electric lights and telephones and automobiles and airplanes
became available

Only last week did we develop penicillin and television
and nuclear power,

and now if
America's new spacecraft succeeds in reaching Venus, we will have literally reached the stars before midnight tonight.

Address at Rice University
on the Nation's Space Effort (1962) by John F. Kennedy (We choose to go to the moon)

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