Ceaselessly Amazed: Update on the Reagan Seminar

I never fail to be amazed by history. In doing the research for my upcoming public seminar on Ronald Reagan, the Challenger speech, and the leadership of tragedy, I’ve discovered several powerful elements to the story that are entirely ignored in either the retelling or the memory of the event. Here are a couple of examples of what I mean.

First, Reagan’s speech on January 28,1986 was the second such speech in five weeks. His first was during December 1985, honoring more than 200 American soldiers who had died in a plane crash in Newfoundland. The weight of the Challenger episode just a short time later must have felt sadly and woefully familiar.

Second, Reagan was convinced that he had flubbed the Challenger speech. His speechwriter thought the same thing. It was only after thousands of letters, telegrams, and phone calls poured in over the next two to three days that they began to realize the speech was remarkably successful, indeed, historic.

There’s a lot more to share with you that will likely be surprising. I’m looking forward to our session.