On This Day, 1958: Vowing that the United States would lead the space age, President Dwight Eisenhower signed an act creating the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, more commonly known as NASA. NASA was formed nine months after the Soviet Union beat the U.S. into space by launching the first satellite, Sputnik. Sputnik scared many Americans into thinking that the U.S. was falling behind foreign rivals; it spurred huge government investments in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Although the Soviets — in 1961 — beat the United States would, in 1969, become the first nation to safely land a man on the moon.
On This Day, 1975: Gerald Ford became the first president to visit Auschwitz, the infamous Nazi concentration camp in Poland.
Quote of the Day
"Power always thinks it has a great soul and vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak." -John Adams
More from West Wing Reports...
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Watch out, China — America is working on dogfighting drones
- How liberals are unwittingly paving the way for the legalization of adult incest
- How the Simpsons/Family Guy crossover revealed the worst of both shows
- Ted Cruz is the new Sarah Palin
- 6 things the happiest families all have in common
- Libertarianism's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad idea
- Why you probably don't have Ebola — even if you shook hands with America's 'patient zero'
- How our botched understanding of 'science' ruins everything
Subscribe to the Week