Today we celebrate the 51st anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's soaring Moon speech at Rice University on September 12, 1962, that would become one of the definiing moments of the century.
The most iconic phrase in that speech, "We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard," launched an era of US scientific advances and spurred the technological imagination of the nation.
Seven years later, Apollo 11 became the first manned mission to successfully land on the moon. As billions around the world watched, Neil Armstrong took the first step on the moon and said the now-famous words, "That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind." This historic first was marked with the American flag and a placard that read: "Here men from the planet Earth first set foot on the moon--July 1969 A.D-- We came in peace for all mankind."
"that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win"
Here are a few more of our favorite inspiring moments in US History that you may remember - and we've included links to the videos for you to enjoy each one of these historic achievements.
The Civil Rights Act of 1964
"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere" - MLK Watch as President Johnson hands a pen to Dr. King after he signs the crowning lesgislative achievement to end segregation and ban discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin" to "promote deeper respect for human dignity" and "hasten the day when our unbounded spirit will be free to do the great works ordained for this nation."
Women's Right To Vote "Modern invention has banished the spinning wheel, and the same law of progress makes the woman of today a different woman from her grandmother." -Susan B. Anthony For decades the women's suffrage movement pushed for the right for women to vote, which today may seem like common sense. Gaining this right in 1920 also sparked the women's equality movement. Equal status for women has improved significantly since then, and today we continue to see women achieve and break the glass ceiling.
Barack Obama is elected the 44th President of the United States
"If there is anyone out there who still doubts that America is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our time, who still questions the power of our democracy, tonight is your answer." President Obama's election into office embodies the hopes and dreams of a diversified and immigrant rich American people.
We'd love to hear from you. What moment in US History was most inspirational to you?
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Women's right to vote - these women made major sacrifices and came from all facets of society. In paralleling the later civil rights movement, some suffragettes marched and made speeches and some were radical and got arrested. This movement also was important in England. I'm proud that my great grandfather was a feminist and supported my grandmother attending college - even after she got engaged. This happened in 1920. He encouraged her to be a partner in her marriage and she married a man (not the one she was originally engaged to) who was brought up among strong philanthropic Southern women. I'm glad that my granny got to be in the first generation of women who could vote!
With all the news about performance drugs in the headlines ... I'd have to go with the immortal speech of Lou Gehring when, after being diagnosed with ALS, a disease that soon would be named after him, he took to the microphone at Yankee Stadium and said the most legendary words in sports of all time "Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth" - and even though this all happened before I was born, every time I watch the video on YouTube http://youtu.be/626Dt9JdjQs - and see the crowds and the love - it inspires me.