Apollo Lunar Program: True Purpose and Effects on Humanity


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What was the true purpose of the Apollo lunar program, and how does it affect humanity?

The Apollo 11 lunar landing had a great impact on society. During the 1960’s, there were many divisions in society. The Civil Rights movement was dividing the nation between pro-Blacks, and pro-Whites, and the Vietnam war was killing thousands overseas, and spurring the Anti-War movement. The Counterculture was rebelling against the mainstream, and gays were being killed just for being gay. However, for one moment, everyone was watching the same thing. Many signs point out that the purpose of the moon missions may have been to form unity. For example, in JFK’s speech at Rice University, he says that “[our obligations] all require us to make this effort, to solve these mysteries, to solve them for the good of all men.” He does not say for all White men, for all men except gays, but for all men, as in everyone on Earth. I think the lunar landing brought unity to a society that deeply needed it.

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Primary Sources:

Thelma McDaniel Collection: (3062) Box 2, Folder 1, Black People Boycott

This source is a flyer to convince people to boycott stores that favored Whites. They show to what degree the Civil Rights movement was at when the Apollo program was starting. This source is limited by its point of view, as it is only giving the voice of Blacks during the Civil Rights movement. This source seems reliable to show what the Black population and its supporters were doing and thinking during the movement, but does not show what people who were against them thought.

Thelma McDaniel Collection: (3062) Box 2, Folder 3, Congressional Notice, African American Repatriation Association

This is a flyer for a Congressional Action (HR 8965). Its goal was to get people to write to their Congressmen in an attempt to get them to vote on this bill. The bill was an attempt to solve the “racial problem” in America. If it was approved, Blacks could get transportation back to Africa. This source is useful to show what Whites wanted, and even what they thought Blacks wanted. It shows that Whites thought they were being helpful by voting to send Blacks to Africa. This is a very reliable source to evaluate the voice and thoughts of the White population, and also what they thought of the Black population, as this is a document produced by them. It does not, however, show what the Black population thought of Whites. The author was probably against Black equality, but they probably thought they were being helpful to provide Blacks a way to go to Africa.

Speech by John F. Kennedy at Rice University, September 12, 1962

In this speech, President John F. Kennedy convinced a nation to turn to a new direction … to Space. He references his purposes of these missions in the speech. He repeatedly emphasizes the fact that the lunar missions must benefit all people. Whether this was his genuine opinion or just political rhetoric is unknown to me right now, hindering the reliability of this speech. It shows that at least one of his purposes of the missions was to impose equality and unity.

These sources are useful to prove that we went to the Moon to, in essence, save the Earth. The first two show the great and urgent need to unify American society, and the third shows some action to fill that need

Secondary Sources:

Godwin, Robert. Apollo 11: The NASA Mission Reports, Compiled from the NASA Archives. Burlington, Ont.: Apogee, 1999. Print.

This book is useful for background information about the Apollo missions. It is also giving me links to other primary sources. It was compiled from the NASA archives, making it a reliable resource. It was edited, though, and that may have affected some of the information.

Man on the Moon. Timeless Media Group, 2008. DVD

This is a compilation of the CBS News broadcasts during the Lunar Program. It shows what part of the 600 million viewers were seeing during the Lunar Landing, and can show me the “front lines” between society, and information from NASA. It was made by a reputable news organization, making it a more reliable source of information.

Wiest, Andrew A. The Vietnam War, 1956-1975. New York: Rosen, 2009. Print.

This book is on The Vietnam War. It covers many parts of it, including The Counterculture and Civil Rights Movement, areas of particular interest to me. It has also given me links to other sources.

These sources will be useful for background information. They have also given me links to other sources.

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