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Discussion » Questions » History » When President Kennedy gave his famous speech, what was he referring to when he said the moon and "the other things?"

When President Kennedy gave his famous speech, what was he referring to when he said the moon and "the other things?"

Posted - October 6, 2018


  • 4617
    Speaking specifically, he was referring to other hard and challenging human ventures such as Sir Edmund Hillary climbing Mount Everest, Charles Lindbergh flying across the Atlantic Ocean, and (since the speech was given in Rice University's stadium) Rice playing the University of Texas in football.

    Speaking generally, he was talking about doing difficult-to-achieve things for human advancement. Going to the moon was the next such difficult thing, following all those "other things."
    This post was edited by Stu Spelling Bee at October 10, 2018 8:05 PM MDT
      October 6, 2018 12:38 PM MDT

  • 7307

    Thank you Stu Bee. I was wondering, what does any of that have to do with leading our country in battle?  I know those are fabulous accomplishments on a smaller scale.  I'm not really comfortable thinking that a bunch of guys bonking heads because they go to a university in a geographic location makes for a statement about the world and things beyond.
    Wow.  Writing that thought made me think.  You might be right. :) :)

    Big smiles and hugs.  Thank you for teaching me something about a silly game and the game of politics.  The key word being "game."

      October 6, 2018 12:52 PM MDT

  • 4617
    I don't think he was talking about leading anyone into battle. And scaling Mount Everest, flying across the Atlantic, and going to the moon were most definitely not on "a smaller scale" (not really sure what you meant by that). They were among the greatest human achievements of their respective times.
      October 6, 2018 1:06 PM MDT

  • 7307
    Stu Bee, you are one of the smartest and most articulate people here.  You and I go way back and I have respected you in all those years.  
    Of course, there is no question as to whether you are right or wrong.  I can say with all authority and assurance, you have been right 100% of the time with any question I have asked. :)
    My naivety in understanding politics and the government does shine through and I'm sure I am about to dig myself a bit deeper.  But, with you, I'm willing to take that chance.  I know you won't pass judgement and will most definitely keep me afloat in case I go too far off the deep end. 
    The "battle" statement was because of the title, "Commander in Chief."  I am sure in George Washington days that was an appropriate title.  I am aware that it is the President who will say, "Let's Go" or "Push the Button."  Being President holds major power in the area of war.  It also holds many other responsibilities.  Commander in Chief seems to belittle his other obligations.  The battle comment was poorly chosen on my behalf.
    The world would be an entirely different place had President Kennedy not been shot.  I feel confident in saying, a world with many different attributes.  I was yet to be born when he was assassinated.   NASA and all the incredibly forward-moving changes he did during his time in office, he definitely was a Huge asset to have.  I am sorry for his untimely death.
    My question didn't portray the possible answer I was searching for.  Maybe I've been watching too many episodes of Ancient Aliens or the History Channel or Discovery Channel or whatever it was that spurred this thought, but I have always wondered.  Maybe he knew something he wanted to tell us and wasn't allowed to by the House and Senate.  Maybe he was dropping a hint about what was to come.  Maybe somebody here knew.  :) :)
    You are very cool Stu and thank you for answering and reading.  See you soon on another question.  Hugs and smiles! :) :) This post was edited by Merlin at October 6, 2018 10:06 PM MDT
      October 6, 2018 9:51 PM MDT

  • 4617
    Commander in Chief is just the president's military title since the Joint Chiefs technically report to him. It doesn't affect everything any president does or says while in office, nor does it increase the likelihood of war or other armed conflict. For example, in October 1962, JFK famously ignored the advice of the Joint Chiefs to attack Cuba during the missile crisis and instead ordered a naval blockade around the island to prevent the Russians from sending in more military equipment. This led to a negotiated resolution and may have prevented a nuclear conflict.
      October 6, 2018 10:01 PM MDT

  • 7307
    Beautiful.  He is definitely a man I would have voted for, given the chance.  My family loves him.  I do because of his interest in space. Was it he that did NASA, or did he get the ball rolling and Johnson take it from there?  
    This is about as intelligent as an 11th grade government-class question.  I could look it up but it much more fun when you share with me. :) :)
    I do have many questions about space and the moon and what the worldly governments are planning.  Maybe President Kennedy was just too ahead of his time and a threat?.
      October 6, 2018 10:15 PM MDT

  • 4617
    Thanks for the kind words!

    NASA was actually created in 1958 by President Eisenhower in response to the Soviet launch of Sputnik 1 in 1957. JFK helped accelerate it and the US space program's growth in 1961 when he set the goal of landing a man on the moon by 1970.
      October 6, 2018 10:28 PM MDT

  • 7307
    You are AWESOME in the true sense of the word.  
    I bring fantasy and magic.  You bring wisdom and fact.  I think they hang out together quite nicely. :) :)
    Hugs and loves and thanks!  I'm off for a bit but see you soon! :) :)
      October 7, 2018 1:19 AM MDT

  • 22385
    not sure, i didnt hear it
      October 6, 2018 5:20 PM MDT

  • 4617
    Then why answer? Read my post above for the correct information.
      October 6, 2018 5:26 PM MDT