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President Kennedy Presides at NASA Ceremony

Oct. 10, 1963 - President Kennedy called for greater appreciation of the importance of the space program today as he awarded one of the nation’s highest space honors to the seven original astronauts. The ceremony of presentation of the Collier Trophy jointly to the seven men took place under bright sunshine in the White House Rose Garden. It was the first time all seven astronauts and their wives had been together at the White House since the first astronaut, Comdr. Alan B. Shepard Jr., went there to receive an award for his Mercury flight of 15 minutes to an altitude of 116 miles on May 5, 1961. Those attending the presentation were Lieut. Comdr. M. Scott Carpenter and Mrs. Rene Louise Carpenter; Capt. LeRoy Gordon Cooper Jr. and Mrs. Trudy Cooper; Lieut. Col. John H. Glenn Jr. and Mrs. Anna Margaret Glenn; Capt. Virgil I. Grissom and Mrs. Betty L. Grissom; Lieut. Comdr. Walter M. Schirra Jr. and Mrs. Josephine Schirra; Commander Shepard and Mrs. Louise Shepard, and Capt. Donald K. Slayton and Mrs. Marjorie Slayton. In related news, the House of Representatives today banned U.S. cooperation with the Soviet Union in a joint manned mission to the moon. The vote was 125-110 to prohibit American participation in such a venture with any Communist country. President Kennedy had proposed a joint U.S.-Soviet moon effort in his speech to the United Nations last month.


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