Saturday, September 27, 2014

Retro Saturday: Message to Employees of NACA

Click the arrow to watch the film. Video source: Jeff Quitney YouTube channel.

On July 29, 1958, President Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act.

In his signing statement, Eisenhower wrote:

The present National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA), with its large and competent staff and well-equipped laboratories, will provide the nucleus for the NASA. The NACA has an established record of research performance and of cooperation with the Armed Services. The combination of space exploration responsibilities with the NACA's traditional aeronautical research functions is a natural evolution.

NASA would officially begin on October 1, 1958, a little more than two months later.

In honor of NASA's pending birthday next week, Retro Saturday presents a ten-minute film prepared for NACA employees on the eve of their agency's demise.

Hugh Dryden, the Director of NACA, introduces the viewer to T. Keith Glennan, NASA's first administrator. Dryden remained as deputy administrator, and was involved in the internal debates in the spring of 1961 when the Kennedy administration decided to propose a manned lunar program.

The film, apparently produced in September 1958, was to reassure NACA employees as to their role in the new NASA.

Click here to read the Eisenhower Library archives on the creation of NASA.

President Eisenhower commissions Dr. T. Keith Glennan, right, as the first administrator for NASA and Dr. Hugh L. Dryden as deputy administrator. Image source: NASA.

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