Dubbed "The Father of American Rocketry," Robert Goddard had already experimented with two stage rockets and a variety of fuels by 1914.
After 1929, in part after complaints from his neighbors, Goddard moved his rocketry experiments to New Mexico, where by 1935 his rockets had achieved speeds of up to 550 mph and heights of over a mile and a half.
Although he published his results in 1936, the government did not display particular interest in Goddard's work. Goddard died comparatively unappreciated.
In July 1969, however, as Apollo astronauts headed for their rendezvous with history, the New York Times was forced to print a retraction of its 1920 editorial that ridiculed Goddard for suggesting that rockets would one day fly to the moon.