To the Moon: The American Space Program in the 1960s

May 27, 2008

While Majority Leader of the United States Senate, Lyndon Johnson was instrumental in obtaining passage of the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 which stated that The Congress hereby declares that it is the policy of the United States that activities in space should be devoted to peaceful purposes for the benefit of all mankind & and to provide for research into problems of flight within and outside the earth's atmosphere, and for other purposes.

This act led to the subsequent creation of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). On April 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy signed legislation making Vice President Lyndon Johnson head of the National Aeronautics and Space Council with the charge of exploring the feasibility of landing a man on the moon within the decade.

Because Lyndon Johnson played such a significant role in establishing the United States space program, the LBJ Library and Museum will celebrate this historic achievement with a special exhibit, To the Moon: The American Space Program of the 1960s. The exhibit will open on President Johnson's Centennial birthday, August 27, 2008, and close on the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, July 20, 2009. The exhibit also coincides with the 50th anniversary of NASA.