Abstracted from James E. Webb, NASA Administrator, "Memorandum for the President," 14 September 1961, and attachment.
The procedure for selecting a site for a manned space flight laboratory, one of four major facilities required for the manned lunar landing mission set by the President, was as follows:
Norfolk, Virginia; Charleston, South Carolina; Savannah, Georgia; Jacksonville, Miami, and Tampa, Florida; Mobile, Alabama; New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana; Memphis, Tennessee; Houston and Corpus Christi, Texas; San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and San Francisco, California; Portland, Oregon; and Seattle, Washington.
This list was then reviewed in light of the other essential site criteria and, through consultation with the General Services Administration, available surplus Government property. The list was reduced on 16 August 1961 to the following nine areas:
Jacksonville (Green Cove Springs Naval Station) and Tampa (MacDill Air Force Base), Florida; Baton Rouge and Shreveport (Barksdale Air Force Base), Louisiana; Houston (San Jacinto Ordnance Depot), Victoria (FAA Airport), and Corpus Christi (Naval Air Station), Texas; and San Diego (Camp Elliott) and San Francisco (Benecia Ordnance Depot), California.
To evaluate each area properly, a physical inspection by members of the team was essential. Accordingly, arrangements were made to visit these nine possible sites. In certain areas, additional possibilities were brought to the attention of the team and these localities were also visited. Hence, the 9 sites were increased to 23 by the inclusion of the following:
Bogalusa, Louisiana; Houston (University of Houston site, Rice University site, and Ellington Air Force Base), Liberty, Beaumont, and Harlengen, Texas; Berkeley, Richmond, and Moffett Field (Naval Air Station), California; and St. Louis (Daniel Boone site, Lewis and Clarke site, Industrial Park site, and Jefferson Barracks), Missouri. Visits to the 23 sites began on 21 August and ended on 7 September 1961. The team agreed that locations north of the freezing line were unlikely to meet the requirements and planned no visits in these areas. While the team was visiting the sites, however, several presentations were made directly to the Administrator, Deputy Administrator, and other NASA officials, notably by proponents of sites in the Boston, Rhode Island, and Norfolk areas. It was agreed that these cities would be considered in the final review.
The considerations leading to this requirement were: