On July 20, 1969, astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the moon.
The American success gave the "entire free world a huge and badly needed boost."
President Kennedy used the space race to boost the idea of the "free world" over Communism, commenting that we would govern space "by a banner of freedom and peace."
Space technology was not the only form of competition taking place in the 20th century. The Wright brothers and Samuel Langley, the secretary for the Smithsonian Institution, were competing to put the first aircraft flown by a human into flight. They both were attempting to build a powered aircraft and on December 17, 1903, the Wright brothers sent their aircraft into flight for 12 seconds.
Thus with the invention of the powered aircraft, transportation was forever changed and would cause a tremendous impact on the events of the 20th century. The aerial age brought about the use of airplanes for both commercial and military use, creating "an entirely new world."
Both the Army and the Navy purchased Wright model airplanes and as years went on, the use of all types of aircraft in military maneuvers changed the way battles were fought. Aerial transportation changed the way the world works and created "broad cultural implications" with an "influence [that] went well beyond the aeronautical community."
Technological inventions were a defining factor in the 20th century. From the airplane to nuclear weaponry, innovation and invention ushered in a new world. In 1969, the Internet would be added to this list of incredible technological achievements. Starting as a Defense Department project, a "web' of datagram network" was to be built which would "use dynamic routing protocols to constantly adjust the flow of traffic."
Research continuously evolved the system and by the late 1980's, the development of the PC and LAN technology made "an internetwork of networks" possible.
The World Wide Web debuted in the early 1990's, and the emergence of web sites "drove the Internet into the public eye."
By the end of the 20th century, the Internet was expanding "by the social, political, and economic activities of people all over the world."
The Internet changed the way people interacted while also changing the way education, health care, and business were conducted. Like many other influences of the 20th century, it's true impact is still evolving and growing and is helping to shape the 21st century.
20th Century Timeline. eHistory Archive. (Accessed April 4, 2011). Available from http://ehistory.osu.edu/world/TimeLineDisplay.cfm?Era_id=16.
Collins, M. Space Race: The U.S.-U.S.S.R. Competition to Reach the Moon. Rohnert Park, CA:
Pomegranate Publications, 1999.
Kedem, C. The Social Impact of the Internet on Our Society. (Accessed April 6, 2011).
Available from http://www-users.math.umd.edu/~bnk/CAR/project.htm.
Scaruffi, P. A Timeline of the 20th Century. (Accessed April 4, 2011). Available from http://www.scaruffi.com/politics/20th.html.
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. The Wright Brother and the Invention of the Aerial Age. (Accessed April 5, 2011). Available from http://www.nasm.si.edu/wrightbrothers/index_full.cfm.
The Great War and the Shaping of the 20th Century. (Accessed April 1, 2011). Available from http://www.pbs.org/greatwar/about/.
The White House Historical Association. John F. Kennedy and the Space Race. (Accessed April
3, 2011). Available from http://www.whitehousehistory.org/whha_classroom/classroom_9-12-visionary-kennedy.html.
20th Century Timeline, April 4, 2011, http://ehistory.osu.edu/world/TimeLineDisplay.cfm?Era_id=16.
Piero Scaruffi, a Timeline of the 20th Century, April 4, 2011, http://www.scaruffi.com/politics/20th.html.