Sputnik - Reaction by U.S. Government

This video clip, based on historical information (and, one hopes, at least a few tongue-in-cheek recreations), demonstrates the U.S. government’s reaction to Sputnik.

Dwight Eisenhower was president of the United States on the day the Soviet Union launched its new Earth-orbiting satellite.  Governmental leaders were dismayed that America was so far behind. 

Lyndon Johnson, then the Senate majority leader, was especially agitated about the situation.  Thereafter, he was instrumental in the formation of NASA (the National Air and Space Administration).

The American people were also extremely upset about Sputnik.  Voicing the feelings of many, Clare Boothe Luce (a Congresswoman who had recently served as the US ambassador to Italy) said that Sputnik (and its frequent beeps) were "an intercontinental outer-space raspberry to a decade of American pretensions that the American way of life was a gilt-edged guarantee of our national superiority."

Thus the space race was born.

Media Credits

From The Right Stuff, a film about test pilots, Mercury 7 astronauts and the early days of the space race.  Copyright, Warner Brothers, all rights reserved.  Clip provided here as fair use for educational purposes and to acquaint new viewers with the production.


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"Sputnik - Reaction by U.S. Government" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 07, 2013. Oct 14, 2019.
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