Katie and Joe Return
Season 3, Ep. 31
We're back! This week Katie and Joe officially return with a thank you and a message for our listeners.
Presidential Words Matter: FDR at the 1936 Democratic Convention
Season 3, Ep. 30
Since we currently have a president who doesn't seem to know or even understand the importance of words, especially when they are spoken by the president of the United States, we thought it might be helpful in a time of national crisis to remember that we have had presidents of both parties who did understand this.President Franklin D. Roosevelt, led our country through difficult times with the power and eloquence of his words.In 1936 during the Great Depression and as the clouds of war gathered over Europe, he delivered one of the most important political speeches ever given by a sitting president.The occasion was the Democratic National Convention held that year in Philadelphia four years earlier in 1932. FDR had made history by flying to Chicago and becoming the first presidential candidate to accept his party's nomination in person.In an earlier episode of Words Matter, we discussed this important speech with Professor Harvey Kaye, who has just published a new book entitled: FDR on Democracy.In his 1936 acceptance speech, Roosevelt used the language of the founders and decried the economic royalists who were trying to fight back against the progress of the New Deal because it threatened their power.As you listen to his words, pay particular attention to the part where Roosevelt tells his audience they have a rendezvous with destiny.
Presidential Words Matter: Ronald Reagan on the Challenger Disaster
Season 3, Ep. 29
The Space shuttle Challenger’s launch had already been delayed twice when it finally took off on January 28th 1986.This particular launch was widely publicized because for the first time a civilian—a teacher named Christa McAuliffe—was traveling into space. The plan was to have McAuliffe communicate to students from space. According to the New York Times, nearly half of America’s school children aged nine to thirteen watched the event live in their classrooms.But tragically - After a short seventy-three seconds into flight, the world was stunned when the shuttle burst into flames, killing all seven crew members on board.President Ronald Reagan cancelled his scheduled State of the Union address that evening and instead addressed the nation’s grief.A young speechwriter — a friend and hero of mine — Peggy Noonan was tasked with drafting the president’s remarks.It was a heavy burden - as she later recalled “I kind of figured the entire nation had seen an auto accident,”Peggy Noonan draft a speech that was aimed - as she put it “at those who were 8-years-old, those who are 18, and those who are 80 without patronizing anybody.”It was one of the greatest speeches in presidential history and earned Ronald Reagan his now famous title “The Great Communicator”