A famous man once said, "I like the dreams of the future better than the history of the past."
Throughout the history of the United States, America's dreams for the future were and still are placed in the
hands of an elite group of citizens. This elite group is given the task of guiding the country toward the
future. As time has passed, a few leaders have emerged above all the rest. Washington, Lincoln, and
Kennedy stand out for their accomplishments in the face of adversity and scrutiny. These men left behind a
legacy that continues to influence the leaders of today and guide America toward the future. By reviewing
their accomplishments, we are allowed to experience the past and learn how their decisions still affect our
lives today.
George Washington's dream for the future was to see the thirteen colonies united into one
sovereign and independent nation. As commander-in-chief of the troops during the American Revolution,
Washington organized massive campaigns against the British troops, effectively stunting their advances
through the New England Colonies. Using cunning strategic maneuvers, Washington was able to ensure a
British evacuation of Boston in 1776. This maneuver helped to ensure a victory for the colonies
in securing permanent separation from Great Britain. After the war, Washington played a major role in the
creation of the Constitution, establishing a government and laws for the newly founded country.
Without Washington's knowledge of military strategy, political wisdom, and vision for the future, America
might still be under the control of a foreign power.
A vision for the future was also held by a man named Abraham Lincoln. He dreamed of a country
where all men are free and treated equally. On January 1, 1863, Lincoln issued The Emancipation
Proclamation which declared that "all slaves in states still in rebellion would be forever free." Following
this proclamation, Lincoln encouraged Congress to adopt the 13th amendment which abolished slavery
throughout the country. Lincoln considered the 13th amendment "the complete consummation of his own
work, the emancipation proclamation." By abolishing slavery, Lincoln gave many slaves hope for a better
future by allowing them the freedom to control their own lives and helping to ensure freedom from
oppression for all Americans.
John F. Kennedy's vision for the future involved the exploration of an unknown territory
called space. While eyes of the world were looking into space and all it contained, Kennedy was
determined to see outer space governed by freedom and peace and not the flag of hostile conquest. He
dreamed of space being full of instruments of learning rather than instruments of war. To help ensure that
his dream came true, Kennedy challenged the space program to put a man on the moon within ten years.
On July, 24 1969, Neil Armstrong fulfilled this part of Kennedy's vision of space exploration when he
became the first man to walk on the moon. Thankfully, the American people have not let Kennedy's
dreams die. Man continues to explore space to learn the secrets that are held within and pave the way for a
bright future in space exploration.