Analysis of Ronald Reagan's Sppech, The Challenger Disaster

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While seated in the Oval Office of the White house, January 28, 1986 President Ronald Reagan delivers his speech The Challenger Disaster; hours after the space shuttle The Challenger explodes while in take off. Thousands witnessed this horrifying event live in person and on television. This mission was very unique allowing the first civilian to ever be allowed in space during a mission. She was aboard The Challenger as an observer in the NASA Teacher in Space Program. Ironically, nineteen years before this disaster, three astronauts were tragically lost in an accident on the ground. President Reagan remembers those astronauts that were lost not only the day of the disaster, but also those who were lost nineteen years before. He conducts this speech not only to mourn the death of The Challenger astronauts, but for the families and those who were impacted from this event. He especially calls out to the schoolchildren of America who were watching this event live as the shuttle took off. As the President of the United States, Reagan earned the nickname "The Great Communicator" due to his ability to convey his beliefs concerning economic and domestic policies to the public. This speech is just one example of how well Reagan spoke to the American public on a personal level and profoundly influenced the nations confidence in itself after this tragic event. Reagan used his speaking ability to explain the important policies of his administration. "Speaking directly to the American people as a "citizen-president," Reagan delivered addresses that conveyed his views of national security, the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), economic policies, and the nation's war on drugs. Delivered with sincerity uncharacteristic of the stereotypical ... ... middle of paper ... ...rrible explosion of The Challenger. Reagan's goal to reassure the nation of a better, safer tomorrow was met in his delivery of this speech. He effectively addresses the families of the seven, the school children and the nation in a respectable way. Bibliography Foss, Sonja K. (1996). Rhetorical Criticism: Exploration & Practice (2nd ed.) Illinois: Waveland Press, Inc. Hauser, Gerard A. (2002). Introduction to Rhetorical Theory (2nd ed.) Illinois: Waveland Press, Inc. Reagan, Ronald (1986, Jan 28). Challenger Disaster - January 28, 1986. Reagan, Ronald (2001). Reagan, In His Own Hand: The Writings of Ronald Reagan That Reveal His Revolutionary Vision for America. New York: Free Press, Inc. Ronald Reagan Home Page. Retrieved September 30, 2002 from the World Wide Web:

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