Taking the Cold War to outer space

Douglas Brinkley

SPRINGFIELD – In less than 10 years, the United States went from losing the space race to landing on the moon – achieving a nearly impossible goal set by President John Kennedy. Historian Douglas Brinkley will discuss the scramble to reach the moon when he visits the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum on April 12.

“American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race” examines the Cold War politics behind JFK’s challenge, the technology that made it possible, and the astronauts, engineers and politicians who pulled it off.

“Doug is a wonderful historian and a great storyteller. We are so pleased he is speaking for us, and I cannot wait to hear his take on such an exciting period in American history,” said Alan Lowe, executive director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

VIP ticketholders can meet Brinkley at a reception. He will also sign copies of his books at 6 p.m. before the public presentation begins. Ticket prices range from $15 to $65 (or from $10 to $60 for members of the Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation.)

For tickets, visit www.PresidentLincoln.illinois.gov and click on “Special Event Reservations.”

Brinkley, a professor at Rice University, is a frequent contributor to CNN and the New York Times. His books include “Cronkite,” “The Great Deluge: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast” and “The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America.”

His visit is part of the special programming in conjunction with “American Visionary: John F. Kennedy’s Life and Times,” a photography exhibition at the presidential museum through May 19. The exhibition, which will be open during the Brinkley event, is based on his book “JFK: A Vision for America.”

The Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum uses a combination of rigorous scholarship and high-tech showmanship to immerse visitors in the life and times of Abraham Lincoln. Visitors can see ghosts come to life on stage, watch TV coverage of the 1860 presidential election, roam through the Lincoln White House, experience booming cannons in a Civil War battle and come face to face with priceless original Lincoln artifacts.

The library holds an unparalleled collection of Lincoln books, documents, photographs, artifacts and art, as well as some 12 million items pertaining to all aspects of Illinois history.

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