At his graduation ceremony in 1904, he gave his class oration as valedictorian.
In his speech, entitled "On Taking Things for Granted", Goddard included a section that would become emblematic of his life: [J]ust as in the sciences we have learned that we are too ignorant to safely pronounce anything impossible, so for the individual, since we cannot know just what are his limitations, we can hardly say with certainty that anything is necessarily within or beyond his grasp.
As a result, he became protective of his privacy and his work.
I was a different boy when I descended the tree from when I ascended. The young Goddard was a thin and frail boy, almost always in fragile health.
He suffered from stomach problems, pleurisy, colds and bronchitis, and fell two years behind his classmates.
He not only recognized the potential of rockets for atmospheric research, ballistic missiles and space travel but was the first to scientifically study, design and construct the rockets needed to implement those ideas.
Goddard was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, to Nahum Danford Goddard (1859–1928), a farmer, and Fannie Louise Hoyt (1864–1920).
He wrote later about his own tests of the Law: I began to realize that there might be something after all to Newton's Laws.
The Third Law was accordingly tested, both with devices suspended by rubber bands and by devices on floats, in the little brook back of the barn, and the said law was verified conclusively.Robert Hutchings Goddard (October 5, 1882 – August 10, 1945) was an American engineer, professor, physicist, and inventor who is credited with creating and building the world's first liquid-fueled rocket.Goddard successfully applied three-axis control, gyroscopes and steerable thrust to rockets to effectively control their flight.He became a voracious reader, regularly visiting the local public library to borrow books on the physical sciences.Goddard's interest in aerodynamics led him to study some of Samuel Langley's scientific papers in the periodical Smithsonian.Robert was their only child to survive; a younger son, Richard Henry, was born with a spinal deformity and died before his first birthday.