A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from April 29, 2015
Never A Straight Answer (NASA backronymic nickname)

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) did not have a good reputation among news reporters in the 1960s. “Redefining the acronym NASA to mean ‘Never A Straight Answer’” is a joke backronym (back acronym) that was cited in print in December 1965. The backronym is still popularly used.

“Not A Space Agency” is another NASA backronym.

Wikipedia: NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is the United States government agency responsible for the civilian space program as well as aeronautics and aerospace research.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower established the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958 with a distinctly civilian (rather than military) orientation encouraging peaceful applications in space science. The National Aeronautics and Space Act was passed on July 29, 1958, disestablishing NASA’s predecessor, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA). The new agency became operational on October 1, 1958.

Since that time, most U.S. space exploration efforts have been led by NASA, including the Apollo moon-landing missions, the Skylab space station, and later the Space Shuttle.

Google News Archive
19 December 1965, Daytona Beach (FL) Sunday News-Journal, “Of Men And Missiles: Rough Week For Space Newsmen” by Sue Butler, pg. 7A, col. 4:
NEWSMEN also while away the vigil for fresh news by drawing cartoon strips of nationally known aerospace writer Bill Hines rubbing salt in NASA’s wounds by personally delivering to NASA director James Webb his paper containing scathing criticisms of Space Agency blunders and boondoggles; sketching two headed reporters because of the frustrating inability to be in two places at once to cover a story at Cape Kennedy and Houston simultaneously; poking fun at NASA’s “press control building” at the Cape press site and noting, despite its best efforts, the Space Agency has little trouble managing the news; and redefining the acronym NASA to mean “Never A Straight Answer.”

31 March 1966, The Evening Star (Washington, DC), “NASA’s ‘Credibility Gap’ Widens” by William Hines, pg. A-14, col. 3:
Newsmen have long contended that the initials NASA stands for ‘Never A Straight Answer,” and on at least one occasion, a high-ranking space official was publicly called to account by a reporter for consistent telling of inconsistent stories.

Google News Archive
22 April 1966, Rome (GA) News-Tribune, “NASA Information Office Criticized,” pg. 6, col. 8:
ATLANTA (UPI)—An American Broadcasting Company official has charged that the public information office of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration is a stumbling block to fair and fast coverage of space news.

Elmer L. Lower, president of News, Special Events and Public Affairs for ABC, Thursday night cited the long delay in NASA’s announcing to the world that Gemini 8 astronauts had come down safely after being forced to land by a malfunction in the capsule.

Lower said NASA is the newest “dirty” word in the language—“never a straight answer.”

Google News Archive
22 April 1967, Owosso (MI) , “Reticent NASA” (editorial), pg. 4, col. 1:
Mr. Webb certainly does not want to reinforce the view of cynics who insist that NASA actually stands for “Never A Straight Answer.”

Google Books
The IFO Report
By Thierry Sagnier
New York, NY: Avon Books
Pg. 183:
“But you know what NASA stands for, don’t you?”

Shales laughed and together they chimed, “Never A Straight Answer!”

Google Books
Popular Science and Sex in America

By Constance Penley
London: Verso
Pg. 67:
Chaisson says he came to understand the Capitol Hill crack that NASA stands for “Never A Straight Answer.”

john rogerson
Our govt. lies about everything 24/7, why listen to anything they say?
NASA-Never A Straight Answer
11:02 AM - 15 Apr 2015

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • Wednesday, April 29, 2015 • Permalink