30th president of the us

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January 28th 1986: Challenger Disaster

On this day in 1986, the US space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds into its tenth flight, resulting in the deaths of all seven crew members. The craft disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean due to  technical malfunction. The crew compartment and various fragments were  recovered from the ocean floor, and several of the crew are known to  have survived the initial breakup and died upon impact with the ocean  surface. The tragedy occurred the same day as President Ronald Reagan was  due to give his annual State of the Union address, but he postponed the speech  and instead gave a national address on the Challenger disaster. Reagan quoted the poem ‘High Flight’ by American Second World War pilot John Gillespie Magee Jr in a speech which is still regarded as one of his most memorable.

“We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning,  as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and ‘slipped the  surly bonds of Earth’ to 'touch the face of God.’”

30 years ago

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November 30th 1993: Brady Bill signed

On this day in 1993, US President Bill Clinton signed the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act (the Brady Bill) into law. The law provides for federal background checks on gun purchases. It was named for James Brady, Ronald Reagan’s Press Secretary who was shot by John Hinckley Jr in an attempted assassination of then President Reagan in 1981. Brady was paralyzed and he and his family became active members of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. James Brady passed away in August 2014 aged 73, 33 years after the shooting that almost killed him.

Persistence:

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan Press On! has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.”

—  Calvin Coolidge (30th US President)