Get closer than ever before with some of our science and space exploration learning center’s artifacts and exhibits in our new video series, “History Up Close.” Today, we are exploring a special artifact we have in honor of the famous speech President John F. Kennedy made that marked a pivotal moment in the Apollo era, one that rallied the nation and committed the country to look to the Moon.

58 years ago Kennedy stood in front of a crowd of roughly 35,000 at Rice University and delivered his historic speech declaring that by the end of the decade, the United States would land astronauts on the Moon.

“We choose to go to the Moon,” Kennedy said. “We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”

Kennedy thundered those words from the podium which now sits in Destiny Theater here at Space Center Houston. Just seven years after the speech, Neil Armstrong stepped foot on the Moon and the world celebrated. It was more than a historic moment. It was a global victory.