Dwight Eisenhower on Technology
Sputnik: Soviets lead in satellites, but US leads overall
"It is my conviction, supported by trusted scientific and military advisers, that, although the Soviets are quite likely ahead in some missile and special areas, and are obviously ahead of us in satellite development,
as of today the overall military strength of the Free World is distinctly greater than that of the Communist countries."
But unless we moved further, we could fall behind.
Source: Waging Peace, by Pres. Dwight Eisenhower, p.224
, Jan 1, 1965
1958: First satellite only a step; established NASA
On the night of January 31, 1958, the Army was to launch Explorer I, which we hoped would be the US's first orbiting earth satellite. At 12:44 my telephone rang; [I received the report], "It's in orbit. We just received the official word."
wonderful," I replied. "I surely feel a lot better now." But I warned, "Let's not make too great a hullabaloo over this." I did not want this success to result in any boastful pronouncements; primarily it marked a big step, but only a step, in a
gigantic undertaking of space exploration.
With the January 31 launching, a long and difficult period had ended. Within the next 8 weeks we made 2 other successful shots: the Navy's Vanguard, launched March 17, and Explorer III, which went into orbit
on March 26.
The exploration of outer space, a comprehensive and costly venture, demanded new controlling and operating mechanisms within the government. On April 2, I requested Congress to establish a National Aeronautics and Space Agency (NASA).
Source: Waging Peace, by Pres. Dwight Eisenhower, p.255-257
, Jan 1, 1965
Space exploration need not integrate with defense research
Our effort in space exploration is often mistakenly supposed to be an integral part of defense research and development.
- America has made great contributions to the world's fund of knowledge of astrophysics and space science. These discoveries are
of present interest chiefly to the scientific community; but they are important foundation-stones for more extensive exploration of outer space.
- Our military missile program does not suffer from our present lack of very large rocket engines, which are
so necessary in distant space exploration. The thrust of our present missiles is fully adequate for defense requirements.
- The US is pressing forward in the development of large rocket engines to place much heavier vehicles into space for exploration
- In the meantime, it is necessary to remember that we have only begun to probe the environment immediately surrounding the earth.
- We have just completed a year's experience with our new space law [which needs modification].
Source: Pres. Eisenhower's 1960 State of the Union message
, Jan 7, 1960
Overcame 1958 recession without hasty public works projects
The material foundation of our national safety is a strong and expanding economy. This we have--and this we must maintain. Only with such an economy can we be secure and simultaneously provide for the well-being of our people.
A year ago the nation was
experiencing a decline in employment and output. Today that recession is fading into history, and this without gigantic, hastily-improvised public works projects or untimely tax reductions. A healthy and vigorous recovery has been under way since last
May. New homes are being built at the highest rate in several years. Retail sales are at peak levels. Personal income is at an all-time high.
The marked forward thrust of our economy reaffirms our confidence in competitive enterprise. But--clearly--wisdom and prudence in both the public and private sectors of the economy are always necessary.
Source: Pres. Eisenhower's 1959 State of the Union message
, Jan 7, 1959
National Highway Program to meet economic & security needs
A modern, efficient highway system is essential to meet the needs of our growing population, our expanding economy, and our national security. We are accelerating our highway improvement program as rapidly as possible. However, this effort will not in
itself assure our people of an adequate highway system. On my recommendation, this problem has been carefully considered by the Conference of State Governors and by a special Advisory Committee on a National Highway Program.
In further recognition
of the importance of transportation to our economic strength and security, the Administration is thoroughly examining existing Federal transportation policies to determine their effect on the adequacy of transportation services. This is the first such
comprehensive review directly undertaken by the Executive Branch of the government in modern times. We are studying closely the inter-relationships of civilian and government requirements for transportation.
Source: Pres. Eisenhower's 1955 State of the Union message
, Jan 6, 1955
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George W. Bush(R,2001-2009)
George Bush Sr.(R,1989-1993)
John F. Kennedy(D,1961-1963)
Harry S Truman(D,1945-1953)
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