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Challenger Disaster: Reagan's TV Address

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Published on Jan 16, 2013

On January 28th, 1986, the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster was broadcast live on television and was seen by millions of Americans, children and adults alike. President Reagan addressed the nation that evening, coming across not just like the President, but more like a fellow American who had also just paid witness to this horrific event.

His brilliant and deliberate speech set the tone for the country's mourning process and propelled the nation's will to overcome the event by paying tribute to the seven astronauts who lost their lives as American heroes.

This episode of PODIUM features: Robert Lehrman, Charlton McIlwain, Jeff Shesol, and Michael Waldman.

Reagan Archival Images and Speech Audio/Video Courtesy Ronald Reagan Library.

NASA Archival Audio/Video Courtesy of NASA.

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PODIUM is a bi-weekly series that embraces the art of public speaking and honors those with something to say. From historic political speeches, to contemporary commencement addresses, to wedding toasts, the series explores various genres of speechmaking and provides inspiring, insightful analysis including "how-to" content.

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