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tv   U.S. House Speeches on the Space Shuttle Challenger Explosion  CSPAN  January 28, 2016 8:08am-8:33am EST

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in the words of abraham lincoln, he felt that it did not scoured. lincoln said a good speech scholars, it breaks up the earth. reagan did not feel that the speech had that the moment. i came to think afterwards that he thought that in part because there's nothing you can say that could meet a moment that was that painful to the american people, and to you. i picked up from watching reagan how he felt, and i absorbed it and i felt it, too. so everybody went home, not by that night, either, feeling very sad about what had happened, the history that had happened and also on reagan's part in my part feeling that we have not met the moment, feeling very disappointed in ourselves. however, something changed overnight. people started reacting. the press started reporting. kids started talking. something happened overnight. by the time i got into work the next morning, i got the
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impression, you want to know something? we were too tough, that's okay, that speech did that job. came home, came into the office, tip o'neill at colby. tip o'neill? either well the person know. i was not well-known thing. tip o'neill was the powerful democratic speaker of the house of representatives. i was a little person an office in the old executive office building. tip o'neill bother to find me, call me and thank me for the work i had done. it was really beautiful. things like that don't really happen these days, if that if it happened in. george shultz colby. the president called the. he was totally honest about how he thought the speech had not worked or had not done what he hoped to do. but before that he told they can he said, how did you know i knew
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that poem? i said, mr. president, i didn't know that you knew the older i get the chance. i hope you do. he said i did note. you want to know how? indeed uphold high flight had been written on a plaque outside his daughter panties gradeschool come and when you dropped her off -- patty dashed on the way to work it would stop sometimes and read the plaque. so that poem was very well known to them and will have meaning for him. and really work. dan ebert honestly told me he had not originally thought that the speech had succeeded in doing whatever should be done but came to believe by this morning that it had. and i said what made you think that worked? and there were a number of things that make you feel that work at the most striking when was he said, frank sinatra called me last night and frank sinatra didn't call me after every speech, let me tell you. it was one of those moments
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rarely with reagan did you absolutely remind, be reminded that rake in came up and show business. and he knew when something landed and when something didn't, and he knew when he could tell you when something would work. frank sinatra we don't if it worked or not. that is my challenges to the fact is all of us there that day, that hectic day, that crazy, painful to did the best that we could do. we all made it through. besthat >> we have main engine start four, three, two, one, and a lift off. lift off of the 25th space shuttle mission and it hasff cleared the tower. >> every weekend on american history tv on c-span3 futureleae programs until the american story, the highlight for this we can conclude saturday morning at 11:15 a.m. eastern.
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today is a day for mourning anda mournbering. nancy and ii are pained to themg core by the tragedy of the shuttle challenger. we know we share this pain withr all of the people of our country. share this is truly a national loss.
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spirit here's what i find interesting about the theater. if you look at records of what the president watched over the years, tastes were very eclectic and everything and they reflect the tastes of the president. they reflect the times in which they live and everything but there's one movie, there's one movie that really resonated with more presidents than any other one. can you guess what that one movie might be speak with for the complete american history tv schedule go to c-span.org.
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>> ahead of the 30th anniversary of the challenger disaster, wired looks at how budget cuts have impacted nasa. the article says nasa is making safety decisions by committee instead of individual managers taking responsibility and continues on to question nobody wants another launch or reentry failure but does nasa have an institutional memory to avoid the mistakes of the past? >> tonight c-span2 marks the 30th anniversary of the space shuttle challenger explosion. members of the house of representatives took to the floor just hours after the disaster to pay tribute to the astronauts who died. speakers included majority leader jim wright of texas, florida congressman and former astronaut l. nelson, and house speaker tip o'neill. this is about 35 minutes. >> mr. speaker i stand up to the ice into the desk a resolution as for its immediate
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consideration. >> the clerk will report the resolution. >> house resolution 361, whereas the house of representatives have learned with profound sorrow of the first in flight tragedy of the space program of the national aeronautics and space administration involving the challenger shuttle mission 51 al and it's a crew consisting of francis scobee, command, michael smith pilot, judith resnick, mission specialist, ronald mcnair, specialist, ellison onizuka specialist, christy mcauliffe, payload specialist, and gregory jarvis, payload specialist. therefore, be it resolved that the house expresses its condolences to the family and crew members of the challenger shuttle mission and be it further resolved that the clerk committed to these resolutions to the families of the challenger crew and be it further resolved. >> on the resolution the gentleman from texas is recognized for one hour.
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>> mr. speaker, i yield 30 minutes at that time to the senate minority leader, the gentleman from illinois, pending that i yield myself such time as i may consume. >> mr. speaker, the brave and dedicated young americans who the state perished in the unspeakable tragedy witness with such a trauma and vicarious experience by millions of people are the very essence of what has made our country great from age to age. theirs was the willingness to risk everything they owned and were, upon a sublime faith in the skills of thousands of fellow workers, unknown and nameless, and in order our nation might conquer the next frontier of progress. two or three generations ago a patriot and dreamer wrote a poem
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which expressed the spirit of the pioneer and every page. have i named the single river? have i claimed a single acre? have i kept a single nugget barring samples? no, not by. i've been repaid 10 times over by my maker, but you wouldn't understand that who go up and occupy. surely such was the spirit of copernicus and columbus, of galileo, and such issue is the spirit immortalized today by francis scobee, michael smith, judith resnik, ellison onizuka, ronald mcnair, gregory jarvis
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and christa mcauliffe, schoolteacher from concord, new hampshire. in our own time we have discovered the exhilaration of expanding mankind's field of knowledge and broadening the fields of opportunity for the growing population of a hungry world, and to the heretofore trackless voids of space. it is the new frontier, and the exploratory beckoning to what thomas jefferson called the element of all freedom of the human mind. the poet john gillespie mcgee understood that acceleration as to a lesser degree at all who have flown and tracked a new frontier and a new place.
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felt and understood by our own beloved colleague bill nelson, the only such short days ago experienced the very same. he wrote i have slipped the certainly bonds of earth and danced the skies on laughter, silver wings. joined the tumbling sun split clouds, and then 100 things you have not dreamed up. soared and swung high in the sunlit silence. hovering there i've chased the shouting wind along and flung my eager craft through air up, up along delirious burning blue. i've talked the windswept heights with easy grace where never lark or even eagle flew. and while with silent mind i have trodden high on the
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sanctity of space to put out my hand and touched the face of god. with hearts heavy and trauma and deeply felt sorrow, the nation today pays honor and tribute to these brave young americans, and extends its hand to their families and their loved ones, their comrades in such small ways as we can. and in this resolution may we express to all the hopes, the police, the face and the sympathy which always have underlay our country. >> the gentleman from illinois. >> i yield myself such time as i
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may consume and ask unanimous consent -- >> without objection. >> this is one of those very sad occasions, mr. speaker, when there is no center aisle when all the members who will be privileged to speak in support of the resolution will in a sense speak with one voice. i'm reminded of when i was a boy in another age of flight and before the age of television, when i was gathered around a radio with my parents listening to the landing of the hindenbu hindenburg, and then that resulted explosion and burning of that hindenburg when i was a young man, and the feeling i had at that time. today, just incidentally happen to be listening, watching the monitor. again, as the shuttle took off. and after lift off, getting to giving that it was so routine,
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turned my back and went back to my office, with only a few seconds later i was being told by one of my girls in the office of the tragic accident that had taken place. i had that same terrible wrenching feeling down inside that what we had always conceived could be a possibility in this age of space could happen. we have come to accept these flights as being so routine, and yet it's so highly sophisticated, highly technological in nature that any little thing can go wrong. remind me again of how mysteriously, or god those industries ways your ideas from time to time to remind us of what mortal beings we really are, and that we, everything isn't all that sure. so much so that our colleague,
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just a few weeks or so ago, took the risk and our colleague in the other body always feeling so secure and sure that nothing could go wrong. but i guess in this case it's important we remind ourselves and the american people that this tragedy, terrible as it is, deserves at least an attempt to discuss it. the first thing we do is that sorrow, sorrow for the heroic victims of the tragedy, sorrow for their loved ones, sorrow for our country. but we also feel pride in the seven members of the crew, pride in their dedication, their belief in the space program, in themselves and in our country. and but also feel a sense of resolve, a sense of what they symbolize is too important to be stopped. sorrow, pride, a sense of resolve, a human desire to know
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what happened. these conflicting feelings are with us now, and it's my hope that the american people continue to share the faith that motivated and inspired the crew of the challenger of faith that transcends tragedy, faith that remembers those who have died, while at the same time trying to continue as best we can do work that they were doing. mr. speaker, i will be happy to yield such time as the gentleman you want to yield to his members in an alternating fashion. >> i yield such time as he may consume to the consume -- to the distinguished chairman, the dutchman from florida. >> i appreciate, mr. speaker, the distinguished majority leader and his comments at the distinguished minority leader for their comments. it was certainly no one took a more personal sadness today him
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sing this on television as many millions of people were watching. i just had a chance over the weekend to visit with the entire crew and talk with them to talk about their mission and how delighted and thrilled they were to be able to make this. of course at this particular time we did not have all the facts and can't verify the status of the seven members of his crew. we've had 28 years of success in american space program. this is the first time we have had an in flight accident of this type. i think we can be very proud of our accomplishments and success. i think also the members of this group, would all urge to continue with this very program seeking new frontiers. like all new frontiers it involves a certain amount of
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risk, and we must always try to minimize those risks, but not let them this way our efforts to meet the nation's space go with a sense of responsibility and commitment to our thoughts, prayers and sympathy go out to their families. and 19 years ago and one day i had a similar set task, along with my colleague, late colleague, colin teague, to make the announcement that apollo 204 fire at the kennedy space center which caused the loss of three very distinguished astronauts. and i would like to say that the committee on science and technology will conduct a comprehensive investigation into the cause of this accident after the national aeronautics and space administration has completed its immediate investigation. we invite comments from those within and without government that may have any comments.
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that will be pertinent so that we can try to have a comprehensive report to make to our colleagues in the congress have been very supportive of this program over the years. mr. speaker, we are all very saddened, a very personal sadness on the part of my wife nancy and i because we have been very great friends of these members of this group, and our heartfelt sympathy goes out to the members of their family. >> the gentleman from illinois. >> i would like to yield to the gentleman from new mexico, mr. lujan. >> thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, what a terrible day it is for us. such a tragedy that we offer our condolences to the families of these great americans. mr. speaker, these men and women are truly heroes, pioneers of
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america in the truest sense of the word. was watching the launch in my office, mr. speaker, and with me was dr. william grant, the assistant of the acting administrator of nasa. we were so please, mr. speaker, that the weather was prime and we could finally launch. the initial burn went well and we saw a ball come off as planned, and then, mr. speaker, and then the ball and fire and we knew what that meant, a terrible tragedy. we keep hoping against hope that there are survivors, but you know there can't be. this resolution honors those heroes, those pioneers. you feel so helpless, mr. speaker, what can one say? what can we do? we can pray for them. i'm stunned by today's tragic explosion of the space shuttle challenger. this, the 25th launch of the shuttle, promised to be an exciting one with the first
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nongovernment private citizen, christa mcauliffe, board. she was to be our first teacher in space and want to run the hopes and dreams of our nation's young people. i join my colleagues in mourning the loss of our astronauts and ensuring our grief with their families and friends. this is a day of sadness that we will never forget. we will, however, mr. speaker, go on with our space program. we will pursue our dreams to live and work in space, to push back the limits of our knowledge in the vast sea of space. but where ever we go we will carry in our hearts the memory of those courageous men and women who died today so suddenly and so unexpectedly. god bless them and their families in this tragic outcome. >> the gentleman from texas. >> i yield such time as he may consume to the testing was gentleman from florida, mr. nelson. >> the gentleman from florida, mr. nelson.
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>> to the families of my personal friends, dick scobee, mike smith, judy resnick, ronald mcnair, ellison onizuka, christa mcauliffe and greg jarvis. grace and i extend to you our thoughts and prayers to your families, to your friends at the time of this our of your loss. .. loss and our shared grief the space program has been a marvelous program for america the to expand his knowledge and horizons and will continue
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to be so in the future as long as man has the thirst of knowledge and in the process there is risk that risk is taken by each one of us every day and that risk is understood by all the members that kleiman diluted station. my concluding remarks would be as we reflect upon this tragedy, a tragedy -- let's remember the remarks by one who knew some in about risk. a lady named helen keller she spoke of risk and security. this is what she said.
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security is mostly a superstition. it does not exist in nature, nor is their whole experience. avoiding the danger is no safer in the long run than outright exposure. listen to what she ends with. life is either a daring adventure or nothing. god bless and keep you in the palm of his hand. our departed brothers and sisters, and daring adventurers and got life and comfort their families and friends. >> mr. speaker i. yield such

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