Posted by Sarah on Friday, November 10, 2006 at 11:50am.
Hiya, I had to write an essay about the most important event in the 60s.
Here is my essay:
The Space Race
On the 20th July 1969, the human race accomplished its single greatest achievement of all time: when a human first set foot on another celestial body.
This was the most important event of not only the 60s but of the 20th century.
After WW2 had finished, tension between the world’s super powers, America and Russia, had grown. They were locked in a cold war of espionage and propaganda and were trying to show which country was stronger, and, more importantly, which system worked better: communism or democracy.
John F. Kennedy, who was the president of America at the time, said:
“Everything we do ought to really be tied into getting onto the moon, ahead of the Russians… otherwise we shouldn’t be spending that kind of money, because I’m not interested in space… the only justification for the cost is that we hope to beat the USSR, to demonstrate that instead of being behind a couple of years, by god, we have passed them.”
This quote is extremely reliable as this speech, which Kennedy gave, was witnessed by millions. What this quote shows is that the Americans were only trying to get in space to beat the Russians, rather than to improve their technology.
The space race was an important part of cultural, technological and ideological rivalry. Each country was trying to show the other their potential military applications, trying to intimidate the other. However they were also trying to win to boost moral in their country’s population.
Prior to Neil Armstrong being the first man on the moon, many things were sent into space; animals, the first animal was sent by the USSR; people, the first person, Yuri Gagarin, also sent by Russia and woman, also sent by Russia. The USA was getting desperate.
Doreen Stimpson, who was 40 years old at the time, was teaching during the 60s. She said:
“All of my students wanted to talk about that in class instead of chemistry. The moon landing was the subject between cups of coffee and between classes with faculty members.”
This shows that the space race had a tremendous effect, not only on those who were involved, but the average citizen too.
Finally, after one failed attempt, Neil Armstrong, representing the USA, first set foot on the moon, on the 20th July 1969, at 4:17pm. Armstrong was shortly followed by “Buzz” Aldrin. The Americans had won the space race.
Michael Jones, who was 37 at the time, said:
“ Every moment of it I sat there mesmerized in tears. It was a time of great national pride: we had just taken a huge step into the future.”
The space race is no doubt the most important moment of the 60s. There will always be another war, another bomb, another death but there will never again be another time when the first person steps foot on another planet.
Could you please post any corrections and/or suggestions?
Space is the only future for humankind
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