JFK+50: Volume 6, No. 2047JFK ADMITS USA BEHIND IN SPACE BUT PREDICTS WE WILL BE #1 BY DECADE'S END
President John F. Kennedy could well have used this tagline when he was asked about the second class status of the United States space program at his afternoon news conference fifty-four years ago today, August 22, 1962.
A reporter asked this question...
"Mr. President, the Soviet Union's latest exploit, the launching of two men within 24 hours, seems to have caused a good deal of pessimism in the United States. People say that we're now a poor second to Russia.
How do you size up the situation...for the present and the future?"
President Kennedy quickly acknowledged that the US was still behind the USSR in long-range boosters and he pointed out that the United States "started late" and would likely remain behind "for a while." , JFK went on to say, however...
"I believe that before the end of this decade is out, the United States will be ahead. But it's costing us a tremendous amount of money....but we just might as well realize...(that)...we're in for some further periods when we are going to be behind."
The President boasted that the space budget had been increased on his watch by 50% and that the budget for 1962 "was greater than the combined eight space budgets of the previous eight years."
"So this country is making a vast effort which is going to be much bigger...(in)...the years to come...but...we've got to...concentrate our efforts and I think we're doing that, but we can always do better."
*Avis Rent-a-Car was founded by Warren Avis in Ypsilanti, Michigan in 1946. By 2007, Avis had more than 4900 locations world wide with revenues totaling nearly $6 billion.
**Avis used the tag-line 'We Try Harder' for 50 years, replacing it with 'Its' Your Space.' According to Auto Rental News in 2011, Avis had dropped to #3 with #1 belonging to Enterprise (Alamo, Enterprise & National) with 920,861 units, #2 Hertz with 320,000 units & #3 Avis with 285,000 units.
"After 50 years, Avis Drops Iconic 'We Try Harder' Tagline" by Rupal Parekh, August 22, 2012, Ad Age, www.adage.com/
"John F. Kennedy: The President's News-Conference, August 22, 1962," The American Presidency Project, www.presidency.ucsb.edu/