Kennedy's First State of the Union Address

In President Kennedy's first State of the Union address, given in 1961, he stated that both the Soviet Union and the United States were ahead of each other in different aspects of space technology, and that they would be helping themselves, as well as other nations, if they were to combine their areas of expertise to improve mankind's knowledge of space.

Finally, this Administration intends to explore promptly all possible areas of cooperation with the Soviet Union and other nations "to invoke the wonders of science instead of its terrors." Specifically, I now invite all nations--including the Soviet Union--to join with us in developing a weather prediction program, in a new communications satellite program and in preparation for probing the distant planets of Mars and Venus, probes which may someday unlock the deepest secrets of the universe.

Today this country is ahead in the science and technology of space, while the Soviet Union is ahead in the capacity to lift large vehicles into orbit. Both nations would help themselves as well as other nations by removing these endeavors from the bitter and wasteful competition of the Cold War. The United States would be willing to join with the Soviet Union and the scientists of all nations in a greater effort to make the fruits of this new knowledge available to all--and, beyond that, in an effort to extend farm technology to hungry nations--to wipe out disease--to increase the exchanges of scientists and their knowledge--and to make our own laboratories available to technicians of other lands who lack the facilities to pursue their own work. Where nature makes natural allies of us all, we can demonstrate that beneficial relations are possible even with those with whom we most deeply disagree--and this must someday be the basis of world peace and world law.

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