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
- Syrian women know how to defeat ISIS
- Secret Service stretched mission to protect employee, report finds
- 10 things you need to know today: October 22, 2014
- The one thing the New Atheists get right about religion
- 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
- How to make corn dogs
- Will Kobani be ISIS's Waterloo?
- 3 horrific inaccuracies in Homeland's depiction of Islamabad
- Why America needs more billionaires
Subscribe to the Week