Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster
[Text] First Page of Reagan’s State of the Union Address After Challenger Disaster

January 28 1986

Thank you for allowing me to delay my address until this evening. We paused together to mourn and honor the valor of our seven challenger heroes. And I hope we are now ready to do what they would want us to do– go forward America, reach for the stars. We will never forget those brave seven, but we shall go forward.

I have come to review with you the progress of our nation, to speak of unfinished work, and to set our sights on the future. I am pleased to report the state of our Union is stronger than a year ago, and growing stronger each day. Tonight, we look out on a Rising America– firm of heart, united in spirit, powerful in pride and patriotism– American is on the move!

But, it wasn’t long ago that we looked out on a different land– locked factory gates and long gasoline lines, intolerable prices and interest rates turning the greatest country on Earth into a land of broken dreams. Government growing beyond our consent had become a lumbering giant, slamming shut the gates of opportunity, threatening to crush the very roots of our freedom.

What brought America back? The American people brought us back– with quiet courage and common sense; with undying faith that in this nation under God the future will be ours, for the future belongs to the free.

Tonight the American people deserve our thanks– for 37 straight months of economic growth; for sunrise firms and modernized industries creating 9 million new jobs in 3 years; interest rates cut in half and inflation falling from over 12 percent in 1980 to under 4 today; and a mighty river of good works, a record $74 billion in voluntary giving last year alone.

Despite the pressures of our modern world, family and community remain the moral core of our society, guardians of our values and hopes for the future. Family and community are the…

Source: Congress Archives

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Submitted by: Sarah Dejak
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