On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy addressed a joint session of Congress to announce his decision to go to the Moon. In the address, called the Special Message to Congress on Urgent National Needs, Kennedy outlines his decision to send American astronauts to the Moon by the end of the decade. Listen to the full speech.
In this image from 1962, Kennedy attends a briefing given by Major Rocco Petrone during a tour of Blockhouse 34 at the Cape Canaveral Missile Test Annex. Also in attendance are Vice-President Lyndon Johnson and Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara.