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Monday, 25 May 2020


Available for freelance writing commissions on a variety of subjects including family history, nostalgic Belfast and its famous people, shops, shoppers & shopping, the golden age of Hollywood (esp westerns) and humorous pieces on life's weird and wonderful. Op-eds, columns, non-fiction book reviews too. & @JoeCushnan

I have a portfolio of features, reviews, poetry and short fiction published in all sorts of places - Belfast Telegraph, Tribune, Ireland's Own, Dalhousie Review, Fairlight Books, Reader's Digest, Reality, Lapwing Poetry, Ink, Sweat & Tears, Spillwords, Dear Reader, Amethyst Review, to name a selection.  Oh, and the odd BBC radio contribution. 

This is a series of very, very short items that have nothing to do with the current news agenda.  Swift diversions for a moment or two.

Apropos of Nothing #38 – 25 May 1961

On 25 May, 1961, President Kennedy called for millions of dollars to fund a space programme to land the first man on the Moon by 1970.  In a speech to a joint session of Congress broadcast on TV and radio around the United States, he asked for an extra $1,700m to add to the federal budget.  The largest proportion of this would be spent on researching and developing ways of getting an American on the Moon by the end of the decade. 

"I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to Earth," he said. 

He said $9,000m (£3,214m) would be needed over the next five years to fund space rockets and other projects to get a man on the Moon. But the president added the plan would not need to be supported by extra taxes provided the economy continued to grow and companies exercised wage and price restraint.

In July, 1969, there was a small step and a giant leap.

Kennedy, sadly, did not live to see his dream fulfilled.


Sources: BBC and others

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