McHendry Jr., George F.; Anderson, Karrin Vasby
December 2011
White House Studies;2011, Vol. 11 Issue 2, p135
Academic Journal
The article discusses political partisanship as a theme in the U.S. presidential eulogies related to the U.S. Space Shuttle disasters in 1986 and 2003 by then-U.S. presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush respectively. The authors state that because the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) was a significant part of the national identity, Reagan and Bush could not respond to the accidents as did then-U.S. president Lyndon Johnson following the Apollo accident of January 27, 1967, that claimed the lives of three astronauts. The article examines epideictic rhetoric during the history of the U.S. presidency and discusses the "Challenger" and "Columbia" accidents as national crises within the contexts of the Cold War and the War on Terror.


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