Tom Little
"Well, like I told Dick Nixon, He'll ask for the Moon."
The Tennessean, May 28, 1961
Tom Little Collection
Vanderbilt University Special Collections
On May 25, 1961, President Kennedy addressed Congress on the importance of space exploration for the country. He proposed that the United States work to "put a man on the moon and return him safely home." The Sputnik satellite had been a Soviet success in 1957, and it was clear that space exploration was a frontier on which the United States would either have to actively compete with the Soviet Union, or admit Soviet superiority. Proponents of the space program saw it as a boost to national morale and as an investment in the future of the sciences and national defense. Opponents worried about the enormous cost-more than $9 billion in 1960s dollars-- of the space program. Here, cartoonist Tom Little mentions Richard Nixon, who had lost to Kennedy in 1960, when referring to the cost of the program.