1903 (Wright Brothers – First Flight)
This video recounts the efforts of the Wright Brothers who used intellectual curiosity and an aptitude for science, at a time when the possibility of human flight was beginning to look like a reality. Together, the Wright brothers developed the first successful airplane in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina—and together they became national heroes. Considered the fathers of modern aviation, they developed innovative technology and inspired imaginations around the world.
1974 (Nixon’s Farewell)
This video clip serves as Richard Nixon’s real farewell speech on August 9, 1974. It was his personal goodbye before several hundred staffers, supporters, and friends in the East Room of the White House before boarding the helicopter that was to whisk him to political exile. Nixon had prepared these remarks that morning, drawing on a number of sources, including the personal papers of one of his tough political heroes, Theodore Roosevelt. Unpolished by staff, the speech was rambling, raw, and emotional – perhaps too emotional. It was a performance “so wrenching to watch that even some arch-enemies admitted a pang of sympathy for a humiliated fellow human struggling to keep from unraveling,” writes Mr. DeFrank. Nixon saluted his parents – his father was a “great man,” the soon-to-be-ex-president said, and his mother was “a saint.” He said he had made mistakes, but never for personal gain. He talked about the White House itself – a house with a “great heart,” though not the biggest or finest residence in the world for a head of state. His words wandered thereafter. Near the end he rallied, focused, and said this: “Always give your best. Never get discouraged, never be petty. Always remember, others may hate you, but those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them, and then you destroy yourself.” Sadly, Nixon had not followed own advice. He was petty enough to have maintained an enemies list and talk disparagingly of ethnic minorities to his staff. His hate of liberals and elites who he felt loathed him led to his establishment of an internal team of saboteurs and break-in artists, the “plumbers,” whose overreach in the case of Watergate finally brought him down.