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New Frontier

Posted by ESC on November 07, 2003

In Reply to: "Space, the final frontier..." posted by frank laurino on November 06, 2003

: In 1963, two years before the pilot of "Star Trek" aired, I received a rather substantial color publication from NASA titled, "Space: The Final Frontier." The title was a nod to President John F. Kennedy, who led America into the space race; he often referred to space as the "new frontier" or the "final frontier" in speeches and press conferences.

Was the publication something for the public, an educational brochure?

NEW FRONTIER - There's a fairly long entry on "New Frontier" in the Safire's New Political Dictionary by William Safire (Random House, New York, 1993). Safire cites an early uses of "new frontier" including a speech by presidential candidate Alf Landon in 1936 and a book, "New Frontiers" by Henry A. Wallace two years before that. But Safire says, "Of course 'previous usages' can be found of almost any famous phrase." The "important usage" was by John F. Kennedy, accepting the Democratic nomination in the Los Angeles Coliseum in 1960: ".we stand today on the edge of a new frontier - the frontier of the 1960s." Safire also discusses possibilities concerning who suggested the phrase to Kennedy. "In 'Kennedy," Ted Sorensen, who prepared the acceptance speech for the candidate, takes a defensive stance: '.the basic concept of the New Frontier - and the term itself - was new to this speech. I know of no outsider who suggested that expression.' Thus Kennedy popularized, probably at Sorensen's suggestion, a phrase that was 'around.'"

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