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President Kennedy Speaks at Air Force Academy in Colorado

June 5, 1963 - In Colorado Springs today, President Kennedy announced that the U.S. would move ahead with the development of a supersonic aircraft for commercial use. “It is my judgment,” Mr. Kennedy told an audience of about 30,000 at the Air Force Academy football stadium, “that this Government should immediately commence a new program in partnership with private industry to develop at the earliest practical date the prototype of a commercially successful supersonic transport superior to that being built in any other country in the world.” Conceding that the decision had been “spurred by competition from across the Atlantic,” Mr. Kennedy pledged that his Administration would make every “reasonable effort” to maintain what he called the United States’ post-WWII lead in long-range aircraft. Mr. Kennedy disclosed his decision during a commencement address delivered to the Air Force Academy’s class of 1963. The announcement was apparently made in response to a decision by Pan American World Airways, made public yesterday, to order six supersonic aircraft being developed jointly by British and French manufacturers.


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