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Eisenhower's Sputnik MomentThe Race for Space and World Prestige$
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Yanek Mieczkowski

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801451508

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801451508.001.0001

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(p.95) Chapter 5 Cheerleader-in-Chief
Eisenhower's Sputnik Moment

Yanek Mieczkowski

Cornell University Press

This chapter discusses Eisenhower's televised efforts to “calm” the American public after the Sputnik launch. He gave a series of nationally televised speeches on science and national security, assuring the public that there was no crisis, that no rash action or legislative program was needed. General Andrew Goodpaster noted that this effort—dubbed as Operation Confidence—aims to restore the public confidence in the U.S. national security, and prevent “crash programs that would be unnecessary, that would be very wasteful and misdirected.” By setting the proper tone and invoking the right words, he hoped to banish the Sputnik issue from the news.

Keywords:   Dwight D. Eisenhower, Andrew Goodpaster, Operation Confidence, public confidence, U.S. national security

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