The year before the moon landing, 1968, was one of the most violent and bitter years for American citizens. From the war in Vietnam to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Americans had begun to lose faith in their divided nation. With the activist riots in Chicago over preventing the election of Lyndon B. Johnson’s Vice-President, Hubert Humphrey, America was filled social unrest until the next year. In 1969, the uplifting broadcast of Neil Armstrong landing safely on the moon had given confirmation that America could still rise from the distress and achieve greatness. The significance of the moon landing became a symbol for the American people of all their nation’s accomplishments.
Neil Armstrong looked at it not only as a great triumph for America, but also for the human race when he said "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind" on his first step on the moon (Dunbar). On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy gave a speech about what he called "urgent national needs" at a stadium at Rice University in Houston, Texas (“NASA Moon Landing”). In that speech, he challenged America to "commit itself to landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to Earth by the end of the decade"(Schlager and Lauer). This became known as Kennedy's challenge and the idea was to outperform the Soviets. While the Soviets were off to a better start with the launch of Sputnik I, we soon rose to the challenge and accomplished our goal only eight years later on June 20, 1969, when Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin safely landed on the moon. With the great accomplishments of Apollo 11, America had bettered the Soviets and established superiority in space.
"If we can send a man to the moon, why can't we cure cancer, cl...
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...years behind then we are in technology today. The moon landing is one of the most significant events in American history because of the superiority and triumph it had given the United States.
~"The 1969 Moon Landing: First Humans to Walk on Another World." Science and Its Times. Ed. Neil Schlager and Josh Lauer. Vol. 7. Detroit: Gale, 2001. U.S. History in Context. Web. 13 Feb. 2014.
~Dunbar, Brian. "July 20, 1969: One Giant Leap For Mankind." NASA. NASA, 19 July 2013. Web. 13 Feb. 2014.
~Nave, Carl R. "Apollo Moon Exploration." Apollo Moon Exploration. N.p., n.d. Web. 13 Feb. 2014.
~"NASA Moon Landing." - John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, n.d. Web. 11 Feb. 2014.