tv National Air and Space Museum Dedication Ceremony CSPAN July 1, 2016 5:45pm-6:01pm EDT
gerald ford was on hand for the dedication. today he marks the 40th anniversary of the mee seem and live coverage starts at 6:00 p.m. eastern on c-span3. we'll tour the museum and see one of a kind aviation and space artifacts including the spirit of st. louis and the apollo lunar module plus live events at the front of the building. learn more about the museum as we talk with the director, j.r. jack daily, the museum curator and valerie neil, chair of the museum's space history department. you can join the conversation as we'll be taking your phone calls, e-mails, and tweets. the 40th anniversary of the smithsonian air and space museum live this evening beginning at 6:00 eastern on c-span3's american history tv. >> the smithsonian's national
air and space museum open to the public on the national mall 40 years ago on july 1st, 1976. up next, on real america, president gerald ford's remarks and portions of the dedication ceremony. this 14-minute film was recorded by the naval photographic center and provided by the gerald r. ford presidential library. >> president of the united states and the vice president of the united states.
of congress, secretary rippley, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. this beautiful new museum and it's exciting exhibits of the mastery of air and space is a perfect birthday present from the american people to themselves. although it's almost impolite to boast, perhaps we can say with patriotic pride that the flying machines we see here from the wright brothers' 12 horse plane to the latest space vehicle, we're mostly made usa. the story of powered flight is an american saga. the wonder is that it has all happened within the lifetime and the memory of living americans. how many of us remember vividly the thrill of the first takeoff? how many recall the first news of lindbergh's safe landing in paris?
how many saw man's first giant step that planted the american flag on the moon? at this moment, an unmanned viking spacecraft is circling the planet mars. it has only been 80 years since the smithsonian's samuel langley launched his unmanned aerodrone for a half mile flight before it plunged into the potomac. the amazing american achievements in air and space tell us something even more important about ourselves on earth. the hallmark of the american adventure has been a willingness, even an eagerness to reach for the unknown. for 3 1/2 centuries, americans and their ancestors have been explorers and inventors. pilgrims and pioneers, all with searching for something new across the oceans, across the
continent, across the solar system, across the frontiers of science, beyond the boundaries of the human mind. confined within these walls confined within these walls and windows are the products of american men and women whose imagination and determination could not be confined. there is nothing more american than saying if you don't succeed, try, try again. nor could americans be confined to the atlantic sea board. the wide american space have lured americans from the beginnings. the frontiers shaped and molded our society and our people. gertrude stein once wrote, in the united states, there is more space where nobody is than where anybody is. this is what makes america what it is.
indeed, the impact of the unknown, of what was dimly perceived to be out there has left a permanent mark on the american character. in the early 17th century, a few fragile vessels like the discovery in 1607 and the mayflower in 1620 sailed across 3,000 miles of unfriendly sea. their passengers and crew knew far less about their destination than the american astronauts knew at liftoff about the lunar landscape, a quarter million miles away. the pilgrims fear the perils of the voyage and the misery of the unfamiliar land but the sentiments that sustain them were recorded by governor william bradford. and all great and honorable actions are accompanied with great difficulties and must be most enterprised and overcome
with answerable courage. there lay the ocean separating them from the world they knew and before them lay an untamed wilderness. three and a half centuries later, that wilderness has been transformed. a continent once remote and isolated now supports a mighty nation. a nation built by those who also dare to reach for the unknown. the discovery of this continent was unprecedented. it opened the eyes of mankind showing them the world was bigger than they had thought. our nation's birth. it was unprecedented as well. a new form of government was begun which would allow for change by future generations yet secure basic rights to men and women. the chance to earn property was given to those who have never had property. education to those who had never
been educated. in the new world, americans had to be handy. ours was a do it yourself society. our fascination with machines to lighten labor and increase production began very early. the practical problems of engineering and science required education. the hard life attracted few learned scholars from europe. sometimes americans built their schools before their own rough cabins. by the time of the revolution, there were more colleges and universities in america than in the british isles. the growth of free public education in the united states, amazed the world and quickened our pace in science and technology. our constitution specifically
gave congress power to promote science and uselessusele lesles. and what individuals may write or discover, ours has always encouraged free inquiry with results that speak for themselves. philadelphia centennial exposition in 1876 that alexander graham bell first publicly demonstrated his telephone. today, millions around the world can see and hear the highlights of history as they are happening. each new discovery the result of each experiment humbles us by the dimension of the unknown. our progress measured not only by the extent of knowledge but increasing awareness of what remains to be discovered. keep reaching into the unknown, we must remain free. we must have freedom to find and
freedom to fail. like our ancestors, we are always at the edge of the unknown. in the next 100 years, the american spirit of adventure can find out even more about the forces of nature. how to harness them, preserve them, explore the great riches of the ocean, still with unchartered frontier. turn space into a partner for controlling pollution. and instant communication to every corner of the world. learn how to make our energy resources renewable and draw energy from sun and earth, draw agricultural technologies so all the deserts of the earth can bloom. conquer many more of deadly humanities such as cancer and heart disease as thorough reminded us long before the age
of air and space, the frontiers are not east or west, north or south but wherever man fronts a fact. driven forward by creativity, demands of us sweat and sacrifice and gives us substance and satisfaction, our country must never cease to be a place where men try the untried. and take uncertain paths unto the unknown. our bicentennial commemorates the beginning of such a quest. a daring attempt to build a new order in which free people govern themselves and fulfill their individual. and what lies ahead, thomas jefferson and better than the history of the past. and john adams wrote of his dream to see rising in america
today, july 1st, marking 40 years since gerald ford on hand to dedicate this museum, since then more than 300 trillion have come and the second location outside of washington, dc near dulles airport. together, more than 8 million visitors come here combined making these two museums the most popular in the u.s. we'll be live during the next two and a half hours leading up to coverage of the museum's