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Feverish fads come and go, but few fascinations have taken hold of the American psyche with greater fervour than The Atomic Age ... surpassed perhaps only by The Space Age.
The Atomic Age, ushered in with unprecedented optimism and enthusiasm for all things atomic, eventually found itself on uneasy ground clouded by a preoccupation with the possibility of nuclear armageddon.
Enter The Space Age. What a timely and perfect distraction from The Fall-Out Shelter, fear of atomic annihilation and the imminent "Red Scare". How much more attractive an option ... to check out of this earthly doom and imagine riding a rocket into Outer Space.
On October 4, 1956, Sputnik successfully orbited the earth in 98.1 minutes. This momentous event ushered in what came to be known as The Space Age.
On October 7, 1959 the Soviet spacecraft Luna 3 took the first photograph of "The Far Side of the Moon".
The United States was beaten to the punch by the Soviets and President Kennedy hit the accelerator full throttle. As U.S. policy had demonstrated time and again, the notion that "The Other Side" could possess something desired by America - set off all-American alarm bells. The Space Race was on. Once again, the Soviets won first place when Yuri Gagarin became the first Cosmonaut to travel in Outer Space. Oh, those Russians.
Kennedy set the gears full throttle to advance America's space technology and to instil confidence in the public that the U.S. would lead the Space Race. A much-needed diversion from the Duck and Cover syndrome - the U.S. both stimulated and exploited the new enthusiasm for space travel.
Rocket Ship Bedtime
Zsa Zsa - From Hungary to Outer Space via Hollywood
Claus Visits the Cosmos
No worries. Santa's back and bearing gifts.