John F. Kennedy photo

Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Amending the Aeronautics and Space Act.

April 25, 1961

I HAVE TODAY signed HR 6169, amending the Aeronautics and Space Act to place the Vice President of the United States at the head of the Space Council.

Enactment of this measure is symbolic of our Government's intention to translate leadership and determination into action. I congratulate the Congress--all the Members-and particularly the Space Committees of both Houses, for their speed and understanding in passing this bill.

HR 6169 is a key step toward moving the United States into its proper place in the space race. Prior to this, I have sent to the Congress a request for additional funds to accelerate the large booster development, which is essential to our moving ahead in space.

The Vice President brings to the leadership of our space program 30 years' experience in constructive action in government. He was the author of the Space Resolution in the Congress, the Chairman of the Special Senate Committee which played such an important role in developing space legislation, and the Chairman of the permanent Committee of Aeronautical and Space Sciences. He was Chairman of the Senate Preparedness Committee which as far back as 1958 urged immediate action for the development of a million pound rocket booster.

Working with the Vice President, I intend that America's space effort shall provide the leadership, resources, and determination necessary to step up our efforts and prevail on the newest of man's physical frontiers.

Note: As enacted, H.R. 6169 is Public Law 87-26 (75 Stat. 46).

John F. Kennedy, Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Amending the Aeronautics and Space Act. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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