Reagan Challenger - Part I It was a calamitous ceremonial...

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Part I It was a calamitous, ceremonial occasion on January 28 th , 1986, when President Ronald Reagan delivered his nationally televised “White House Address to the Nation” speech; a speech that was unplanned and unexpected. Initially intent on giving his State of the Union address, his plans were abruptly changed after the lives of 7 astronauts were lost. Earlier in the day, the country witnessed a tragic explosion of the space shuttle Challenger, which contained a school teacher, the first civilian to go into space. This explosion was broadcasted on live television. Millions of people, including young students, gathered around their TV sets to listen to their president speak on the incident. The audience, a nation filled with sadness and horror, desperately sought a leader that could console them. Reagan understood this situation and achieved identification with them by beginning his remarks with, “We know we share this pain with all of the people of our country. This is truly a national loss.”

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