In John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address he spoke of the need for all Americans to be active citizens, famously saying, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” He also asked the nations of the world come together to fight what he called the “common enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself.” In closing, he expanded on his desire for greater internationalism: “Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you.” Its elegant lyricism, its power, and its idealism called Americans to action and inspired real change. Somehow study his presidency I feel that it was more like romanticizing the people and reassuring them nothing would go wrong. Indeed it was a well written speech no doubt but I believe that people over fantasized his presidency a little too much.

            Kennedy was really anxious for America to lead the way in the space race. He approached  Khrushchev twice about a “joint venture” in space exploration in June 1961 and autumn 1963. On the first occasion, the Soviet Union was far ahead of America in terms of space technology. Kennedy first announced the goal for landing a man on the Moon in speaking to a Joint Session of Congress on May 25, 1961. Then Kennedy later made a speech at Rice University on September 12, 1962, in which he said


“No nation which expects to be the leader of other nations can expect to stay behind in this race for space…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.”


            John F. Kennedy first announced his own idea for such an organization during the 1960 presidential campaign at a late-night speech at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor on October 14. During a later speech in San Francisco, California on November 1, he dubbed this proposed organization the “Peace Corps.” The idea was popular among college students, however, and Kennedy continued to pursue it, asking respected academics such as Max Millikan and Chester Bowles to help him outline the organization and its goals. Like what he said in his address promised to create the program: “And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you—ask what you can do for your country.”