President John F. Kennedy delivered this speech, “Special Message to the Congress on Urgent National Needs,” on May 25, 1961 before a joint session of Congress. In this speech, JFK stated that the United States should set as a goal the “landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth” by the end of the decade. Acknowledging that the Soviets had a head start in their space program, Kennedy urged the U.S. to work diligently to lead the achievements of space travel because “in many ways [it] may hold the key to our future on earth.”
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