Sep 12, 2022 - News

Crowd poses to mark 60th anniversary of JFK Moon speech

Photo of hundreds of people formed in a  shape of the number "60" at Rice stadium.
A drone photo of a crowd posing for a "space selfie." Photo: Brandon Martin/Rice University

Rice University celebrated the 60th's anniversary of President John F. Kennedy's "We choose to go to the Moon" speech with events all weekend.

Driving the news: Hundreds of space fans formed the number 60 as a satellite zoomed in from orbit for a photograph on Saturday.

What's next: NASA Administrator Bill Nelson will give a keynote speech at 11am today at Rice Stadium, followed by talks from Rice President Reginald DesRoches, Johnson Space Center director Vanessa Wyche, Rice alumna and astronaut Shannon Walker and elected officials.

  • The event is free and open to the public.

Flashback: Kennedy's Moon speech on Sept. 12, 1962, became one of his most famous speeches.

  • "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," he said.
  • His 17-minute speech infused a sense of urgency that propelled the space program and decades of advancement in technology.
  • NASA landed astronauts on the Moon less than seven years later.
Photo of JFK in front of podium in a stadium.
President John F. Kennedy delivers his Moon speech where he tells the crowd at Rice Stadium, "We intend to become the world's leading spacefaring nation." Photo: NASA
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