15 January 2009

I Like Ike



Dwight David Eisenhower (October 14, 1890 – March 28, 1969) was the thirty-fourth President of the United States and a five-star general, supreme commander of the Allied Forces in Europe and the first commander of NATO.
In addition to his war record, he is remembered for his foresight in supporting systems that would forever shape America's future. One is the Interstate Highway System signed into law in 1956. Eisenhower's experience with the German autobahns during World War II convinced him of the military and economic benefits of a federal freeway. Another involvement Eisenhower was instrumental in shaping was the fledging space program. During the intense Cold War tension of the space race and its military ramifications, Eisenhower insisted that the development of U.S. space program emphasize the benefit of peaceful endeavors. He championed the formation of a civilian agency to perform space research which lead to the creation of the National Aeronautics and Space Agency in 1958. His crowning moment in the space race was the test of the first communication satellite to broadcast from space.

Launched in December 1958, the satellite transmitted the following first message from space:

"This is the President of the United States speaking. Through the marvels of scientific advance, my voice is coming to you via a satellite circling in outer space. My message is a simple one: Through this unique means I convey to you and all mankind, America's wish for peace on Earth and goodwill toward men everywhere."

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