Mike Mayer | Professor, History
"Sputnik and the Launching of the Space Race"
Mike S. Mayer earned his B.A. and M.A. at Duke University and his Ph.D. at Princeton University. A professor of history at the University of Montana since 1988, he has taught at Princeton University, St. Vincent College, the University of Alabama, Auckland University and the University of Illinois. He is the author of “Presidential Profiles: The Eisenhower Years,” “Simon E. Sobeloff” and the “Instructors Manual to Accompany The American Nation.” He also has edited, written or contributed to numerous other articles focusing on Eisenhower’s presidency, and he currently is completing a biography of Eisenhower for Pearson.
Lecture Synopsis: Mayer’s talk will discuss the origins of the space race in the development of missiles during and immediately after World War II, early experiments with vehicles that could undertake flights into space, the competition between the U.S. and the USSR to build intercontinental ballistic missiles in the 1950s, the Soviet launch of Sputnik and the American response.