Douglas O-35

Douglas O-35

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Douglas O-35

The Douglas O-35 was a twin-engined monoplane observation aircraft that was ordered in small numbers as a test aircraft, and that took part in the Air Corps air mail operation of 1934.

Douglas had produced a series of single engined biplane observation aircraft for the US Air Corps, and in 1929 developed the single engined monoplane O-31, receiving an order to produce two prototypes early in 1930. However 1929 also saw the appearance of a possible threat to the Douglas domination of observation aircraft in the shape of the Fokker XO-27, a twin engined monoplane.

Douglas approached the US War Department and asked for a contract to develop a twin engined observation aircraft of their own. The War Department agreed, and on 26 March 1930 issued a contract for the production of two prototypes - the XO-35 to be powered by geared Curtiss Conqueror engines and the XO-36 which was to use a direct drive engine.

Douglas produced an aircraft that was a mix of modern and outdated features. Its modern features included its all metal construction. Its engines were mounted in streamlined nacelles and the main undercarriage was retractable, folding back into the nacelles. The aircraft was designed to carry a radio, and the radio operator had an enclosed cabin.

In contrast the nose gunner, pilot and upper-mid gunner had open cockpits, with the pilot just ahead of the wing. The engine nacelle was carried well below the wing and was supported on a series of struts, which continued out to the mid point of the level section of the wing. The prototypes both used corrugated duralumin to cover the fuselage and tail surfaces.

By the time the XO-35 prototype was completed the XO-36 had been turned into a light bomber, the XB-7. The XO-35 was completed in the spring of 1931 and underwent a series of company tests at Santa Monica. It was delivered to the Air Corps at Wright Field on 24 October 1931, but by then an order had already been placed for five Y1O-35s and seven Y1B-7s.

The XO-35 prototype was damaged on 11 July 1932 but was repaired and returned to service. It took part in the air mail operations of 1934 (see below) and was eventually grounded on 28 October 1938 after flying for 999 hours.

The production aircraft were delivered between August and November 1932. All of them used geared engines, and the Y1O-35s were powered by either the 650hp V-1570-39 or the 675hp V-1570-33. They had smooth metal covering for the fuselage and were 11in longer than the prototype.

The O-35 was used by the 1st, 5th, 12th and 99th Observation Squadrons early in their service careers, in each case alongside other types.

In February 1934 President Roosevelt cancelled the private Air Mail contracts after an investigation into fraud. The Air Corps was unexpectedly given the task of carrying the mail, and only a couple of weeks to prepare. The five O-35s and the XO-35, along with the six remaining B-7s, were allocated to the Western Zone, and had the task of carrying mail in the area between the Pacific Coast and Cheyenne, Wyoming. The operation lasted from 20 February until 1 June. During that period four of the six B-7s were lost. All of the O-35s survived intact.

From 1935-37 the O-35 was used by the 88th Observation Squadron (later the 436th Bombardment Squadron). This squadron had all five O-35s in December 1935 when it took part in an air exercise in Florida designed to test the Air Corps' ability to cope with a hostile air force in the Caribbean.

The last O-35 was grounded in February 1939. The monoplane O-31 was actually a more successful design, leading to the O-43 and O-46. The last member of that family remained in service until 1946.

Engine: Two Curtiss Conqueror V-1570-29 geared engines
Power: 600hp
Crew: 4
Span: 65ft
Length: 45ft
Height: 11ft 7in
Empty weight: 7,296lb
Loaded weight: 9,494lb
Maximum take-off weight: 10,254lb
Max speed: 178mph at sea level
Cruising speed: 156mph
Climb Rate: 8.4min to 10,000ft
Service ceiling: 21,750ft
Armament: Two flexibly mounted machine guns

Douglas County, Colorado

Douglas County had an estimated population of 305,963 in 2013, making it the eighth-most populous county in Colorado. While the largest community is Highlands Ranch, the county seat is Castle Rock. The county was created in 1861, one of the original 17 counties, and named for Illinois’ U.S. Senator Stephen A. Douglas who died five months prior.

It lies halfway between Denver and Colorado Springs. It boasts the highest median household income among all Colorado counties and is ranked 8th in the nation. In 2009, Money magazine ranked Douglas County 5th in the United States for “Job Growth Over the Last Eight Years.”

Numerous recreation trails and three state parks fall within Douglas County: Castlewood Canyon, Chatfield, and Roxborough.

The 35 Greatest Speeches in History

These famous speeches lifted hearts in dark times, gave hope in despair, refined the characters of men, inspired brave feats, gave courage to the weary, honored the dead, and changed the course of history.

How did we compile this list?

Great oratory has three components: style, substance, and impact.

Style: A great speech must be masterfully constructed. The best orators are masters of both the written and spoken word, and use words to create texts that are beautiful to both hear and read.

Substance: A speech may be flowery and charismatically presented, and yet lack any true substance at all. Great oratory must center on a worthy theme it must appeal to and inspire the audience’s finest values and ideals.

Impact: Great oratory always seeks to persuade the audience of some fact or idea. The very best speeches change hearts and minds and seem as revelatory several decades or centuries removed as when they were first given.

  • 1. Theodore Roosevelt, "Duties of American Citizenship"
  • 2. Winston Churchill, "We Shall Fight on the Beaches"
  • 3. Lou Gehrig, "Farewell to Baseball Address"
  • 4. Demosthenes, "The Third Philippic"
  • 5. Chief Joseph, "Surrender Speech"
  • 6. John F. Kennedy, "Inauguration Address"
  • 7. Ronald Reagan, "Address to the Nation on the Challenger"
  • 8. "Speech of Alexander the Great"
  • 9. William Wilberforce, "Abolition Speech"
  • 10. Theodore Roosevelt, "The Man with the Muck-rake"
  • 11. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, "First Inaugural Address"
  • 12. Charles de Gaulle, "The Appeal of 18 June"
  • 13. Socrates, "Apology"
  • 14. George Washington, "Resignation Speech"
  • 15. Mahatma Gandhi, "Quit India"
  • 16. Winston Churchill, "Their Finest Hour"
  • 17. William Faulkner, "Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech"
  • 18. Dwight D. Eisenhower, "Farewell Address"
  • 19. Marcus Tullius Cicero, "The First Oration Against Catiline"
  • 20. Ronald Reagan, "Remarks at the Brandenburg Gate"
  • 21. Pericles, "Funeral Oration"
  • 22. General Douglas MacArthur, "Farewell Address to Congress"
  • 23. Theodore Roosevelt, "Strength and Decency"
  • 24. Abraham Lincoln, "2nd Inaugural Address"
  • 25. Patrick Henry, "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!"
  • 26. Ronald Reagan, "40th Anniversary of D-Day"
  • 27. John F. Kennedy, "The Decision to Go to the Moon"
  • 28. Frederick Douglass, "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?"
  • 29. General Douglas MacArthur, "Duty, Honor, Country"
  • 30. Theodore Roosevelt, "Citizenship in a Republic"
  • 31. Winston Churchill, "Blood, Sweat, and Tears"
  • 32. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, "Pearl Harbor Address to the Nation"
  • 33. Jesus Christ, "The Sermon on the Mount"
  • 34. Martin Luther King Jr., "I Have a Dream"
  • 35. Abraham Lincoln, "The Gettysburg Address"

1. Theodore Roosevelt, “Duties of American Citizenship”

January 26, 1883 Buffalo, New York

Given while serving as a New York assemblyman, TR's address on the "Duties of American Citizenship" delved into both the theoretical reasons why every man should be involved in politics and the practical means of serving in that capacity. Roosevelt chided those who excused themselves from politics because they were too busy it was every man's duty to devote some time to maintaining good government.

Worthy Excerpt:

Of course, in one sense, the first essential for a man's being a good citizen is his possession of the home virtues of which we think when we call a man by the emphatic adjective of manly. No man can be a good citizen who is not a good husband and a good father, who is not honest in his dealings with other men and women, faithful to his friends and fearless in the presence of his foes, who has not got a sound heart, a sound mind, and a sound body exactly as no amount of attention to civil duties will save a nation if the domestic life is undermined, or there is lack of the rude military virtues which alone can assure a country's position in the world. In a free republic the ideal citizen must be one willing and able to take arms for the defense of the flag, exactly as the ideal citizen must be the father of many healthy children. A race must be strong and vigorous it must be a race of good fighters and good breeders, else its wisdom will come to naught and its virtue be ineffective and no sweetness and delicacy, no love for and appreciation of beauty in art or literature, no capacity for building up material prosperity can possibly atone for the lack of the great virile virtues.

But this is aside from my subject, for what I wish to talk of is the attitude of the American citizen in civic life. It ought to be axiomatic in this country that every man must devote a reasonable share of his time to doing his duty in the Political life of the community. No man has a right to shirk his political duties under whatever plea of pleasure or business and while such shirking may be pardoned in those of small cleans it is entirely unpardonable in those among whom it is most common--in the people whose circumstances give them freedom in the struggle for life. In so far as the community grows to think rightly, it will likewise grow to regard the young man of means who shirks his duty to the State in time of peace as being only one degree worse than the man who thus shirks it in time of war. A great many of our men in business, or of our young men who are bent on enjoying life (as they have a perfect right to do if only they do not sacrifice other things to enjoyment), rather plume themselves upon being good citizens if they even vote yet voting is the very least of their duties, Nothing worth gaining is ever gained without effort. You can no more have freedom without striving and suffering for it than you can win success as a banker or a lawyer without labor and effort, without self-denial in youth and the display of a ready and alert intelligence in middle age. The people who say that they have not time to attend to politics are simply saying that they are unfit to live in a free community.

2. Winston Churchill, “We Shall Fight on the Beaches”

June 4, 1940 House of Commons, London

Winston Churchill, one of the greatest orators of the 20th century, was interestingly enough, like Demosthenes and other great orators before him, born with a speech impediment which he worked on until it no longer hindered him. One would never guess this from hearing Churchill's strong and reassuring voice, a voice that would buoy up Britain during some of her darkest hours.

During the Battle of France, Allied Forces became cut off from troops south of the German penetration and perilously trapped at the Dunkirk bridgehead. On May 26, a wholesale evacuation of these troops, dubbed "Operation Dynamo," began. The evacuation was an amazing effort-the RAF kept the Luftwaffe at bay while thousands of ships, from military destroyers to small fishing boats, were used to ferry 338,000 French and British troops to safety, far more than anyone had thought possible. On June 4, Churchill spoke before the House of Commons, giving a report which celebrated the "miraculous deliverance" at Dunkirk, while also seeking to temper a too rosy of view of what was on the whole a "colossal military disaster."

Worthy Excerpt:

I have, myself, full confidence that if all do their duty, if nothing is neglected, and if the best arrangements are made, as they are being made, we shall prove ourselves once again able to defend our Island home, to ride out the storm of war, and to outlive the menace of tyranny, if necessary for years, if necessary alone. At any rate, that is what we are going to try to do. That is the resolve of His Majesty's Government-every man of them. That is the will of Parliament and the nation. The British Empire and the French Republic, linked together in their cause and in their need, will defend to the death their native soil, aiding each other like good comrades to the utmost of their strength. Even though large tracts of Europe and many old and famous States have fallen or may fall into the grip of the Gestapo and all the odious apparatus of Nazi rule, we shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end, we shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our Island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills we shall never surrender, and even if, which I do not for a moment believe, this Island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our Empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, would carry on the struggle, until, in God's good time, the New World, with all its power and might, steps forth to the rescue and the liberation of the old.

3. Lou Gehrig, “Farewell to Baseball Address”

July 4, 1939 Yankee Stadium

It seemed as if the luminous career of Lou Gehrig would go on forever. The Yankee's first baseman and prodigious slugger was nicknamed the Iron Horse for his durability and commitment to the game. Sadly, his record for suiting up for 2,130 consecutive games came to an end when at age 36, Gehrig was stricken with the crippling disease that now bears his name. On July 4, 1939, the Yankees held a ceremony to honor their teammate and friend. They retired Gehrig's number, spoke of his greatness, and presented him with various gifts, plaques, and trophies. When Gehrig finally addressed the crowd, he did not use the opportunity to wallow in pity. Instead, he spoke of the things he was grateful for and what a lucky guy he was.

Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about a bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth. I have been in ballparks for seventeen years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans.

Look at these grand men. Which of you wouldn't consider it the highlight of his career to associate with them for even one day?

Sure, I'm lucky. Who wouldn't consider it an honor to have known Jacob Ruppert - also the builder of baseball's greatest empire, Ed Barrow - to have spent the next nine years with that wonderful little fellow Miller Huggins - then to have spent the next nine years with that outstanding leader, that smart student of psychology - the best manager in baseball today, Joe McCarthy!

Sure, I'm lucky. When the New York Giants, a team you would give your right arm to beat, and vice versa, sends you a gift, that's something! When everybody down to the groundskeepers and those boys in white coats remember you with trophies, that's something.

When you have a wonderful mother-in-law who takes sides with you in squabbles against her own daughter, that's something. When you have a father and mother who work all their lives so that you can have an education and build your body, it's a blessing! When you have a wife who has been a tower of strength and shown more courage than you dreamed existed, that's the finest I know.

So I close in saying that I might have had a tough break - but I have an awful lot to live for!

4. Demosthenes, “The Third Philippic”

342 B.C. Athens, Greece

Demosthenes, master statesman and orator, loved his city-state of Athens. He cherished its way of life and abundant freedoms. And he believed in standing strong against anyone who might attempt to infringe on these privileges. This passion, unfortunately, was seldom shared by his fellow Athenians. While Philip the II of Macedon made bolder and bolder incursions into the Greek peninsula, the Athenian people seemed stuck in an apathetic stupor. For years, Demosthenes employed his powerful oratorical skills in attempts to awaken his fellow citizens from sleep to the realization of the imminent danger Philip posed. When Philip advanced on Thrace, the Athenians called an assembly to debate whether or not to finally heed the great orator's advice. Demosthenes was sick of his brethren taking liberty and the Athenian way of life for granted and he boldly called upon them to rise up and take action. After his rousing speech, the assembly all cried out, "To arms! To arms!"

Worthy Excerpt:

It is this fate, I solemnly assure you, that I dread for you, when the time comes that you make your reckoning, and realize that there is no longer anything that can be done. May you never find yourselves, men of Athens, in such a position! Yet in any case, it were better to die ten thousand deaths, than to do anything out of servility towards Philip [or to sacrifice any of those who speak for your good]. A noble recompense did the people in Oreus receive, for entrusting themselves to Philip's friends, and thrusting Euphraeus aside! And a noble recompense the democracy of Eretria, for driving away your envoys, and surrendering to Cleitarchus! They are slaves, scourged and butchered! A noble clemency did he show to the Olynthians, who elected Lasthenes to command the cavalry, and banished Apollonides! It is folly, and it is cowardice, to cherish hopes like these, to give way to evil counsels, to refuse to do anything that you should do, to listen to the advocates of the enemy's cause, and to fancy that you dwell in so great a city that, whatever happens, you will not suffer any harm.

5. Chief Joseph, “Surrender Speech”

October 5, 1877 Montana Territory

In 1877, the military announced that the Chief Joseph and his tribe of Nez Perce had to move onto a reservation in Idaho or face retribution. Desiring to avoid violence, Chief Joseph advocated peace and cooperation. But fellow tribesmen dissented and killed four white men. Knowing a swift backlash was coming, Joseph and his people began to make their way to Canada, hoping to find amnesty there. The tribe traveled 1700 miles, fighting the pursuing US army along the way. In dire conditions, and after a five day battle, Chief Joseph surrendered to General Nelson A. Miles on Oct. 5, 1877 in the Bear Paw Mountains of Montana Territory, a mere 40 miles from the Canadian border. The Chief knew he was the last of a dying breed, and the moment of surrender was heartbreaking.

Tell General Howard I know his heart. What he told me before, I have it in my heart. I am tired of fighting. Our Chiefs are killed Looking Glass is dead, Ta Hool Hool Shute is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men who say yes or no. He who led on the young men is dead. It is cold, and we have no blankets the little children are freezing to death. My people, some of them, have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food. No one knows where they are - perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children, and see how many of them I can find. Maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my Chiefs! I am tired my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands I will fight no more forever.

6. John F. Kennedy, “Inauguration Address”

January 20, 1961 Washington, D.C.

Young, handsome, with a glamorous family in tow, John F. Kennedy embodied the fresh optimism that had marked the post-war decade. On January 20, 1961, Kennedy took the oath of office as the 35th President of the United States. The youngest president in United States history, he was the first man born in the 20th century to hold that office. Listening to his inaugural address, the nation felt that a new era and a "new frontier" were being ushered in.

Worthy Excerpt:

Can we forge against these enemies a grand and global alliance, North and South, East and West, that can assure a more fruitful life for all mankind? Will you join in that historic effort?

In the long history of the world, only a few generations have been granted the role of defending freedom in its hour of maximum danger. I do not shrink from this responsibility -- I welcome it. I do not believe that any of us would exchange places with any other people or any other generation. The energy, the faith, the devotion which we bring to this endeavor will light our country and all who serve it -- and the glow from that fire can truly light the world.

And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country.

My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

7. Ronald Reagan, "Address to the Nation on the Challenger"

January 28, 1986 Washington, D.C.

On January 28, 1986, millions of Americans, many of them schoolchildren watching from their classroom desks, tuned in to see 7 Americans, including Christa McAuliffe, a 37 year old schoolteacher and the first ever "civilian astronaut," lift off in the space shuttle Challenger. Just 73 seconds later, the shuttle was consumed in a fireball. All seven aboard perished. These were the first deaths of American astronauts while in flight, and the nation was shocked and heartbroken by the tragedy. Just a few hours after the disaster, President Ronald Reagan took to the radio and airwaves, honoring these "pioneers" and offering comfort and assurance to a rattled people.

Worthy Excerpt:

We've grown used to wonders in this century. It's hard to dazzle us. But for 25 years the United States space program has been doing just that. We've grown used to the idea of space, and perhaps we forget that we've only just begun. We're still pioneers. They, the members of the Challenger crew, were pioneers.

And I want to say something to the school children of America who were watching the live coverage of the shuttle's takeoff. I know it is hard to understand, but sometimes painful things like this happen. It's all part of the process of exploration and discovery. It's all part of taking a chance and expanding man's horizons. The future doesn't belong to the fainthearted it belongs to the brave. The Challenger crew was pulling us into the future, and we'll continue to follow them.

The crew of the space shuttle Challenger honoured us by the manner in which they lived their lives. We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for the journey and waved goodbye and 'slipped the surly bonds of earth' to 'touch the face of God.'

8. "Speech of Alexander the Great"

326 B.C. Hydaspes River, India

In 335 B.C., Alexander the Great began his campaign to recapture former Greek cities and to expand his empire. After ten years of undefeated battles, Alexander controlled an empire that included Greece, Egypt, and what had been the massive Persian Empire.

That wasn't enough for Xander. He decided to continue his conquest into India. But after ten years of fighting and being away from home, his men lacked the will to take part in another battle, especially against an opponent like King Porus and his army. Alexander used the talent for oration he had developed while studying under Aristotle to infuse his men with the motivation they needed to continue on, to fight and to win.

Worthy Excerpt:

I could not have blamed you for being the first to lose heart if I, your commander, had not shared in your exhausting marches and your perilous campaigns it would have been natural enough if you had done all the work merely for others to reap the reward. But it is not so. You and I, gentlemen, have shared the labour and shared the danger, and the rewards are for us all. The conquered territory belongs to you from your ranks the governors of it are chosen already the greater part of its treasure passes into your hands, and when all Asia is overrun, then indeed I will go further than the mere satisfaction of our ambitions: the utmost hopes of riches or power which each one of you cherishes will be far surpassed, and whoever wishes to return home will be allowed to go, either with me or without me. I will make those who stay the envy of those who return.

9. William Wilberforce, "Abolition Speech"

May 12, 1789 House of Commons, London

When William Wilberforce, a member of the British Parliament, converted to Christianity, he began to earnestly seek to reform the evils he found within himself and the world around him. One of the glaring moral issues of the day was slavery, and after reading up on the subject and meeting with anti-slavery activists, Wilberforce became convinced that God was calling him to be an abolitionist. Wilberforce decided to concentrate on ending the slave trade rather than slavery itself, reasoning that the abolition of one would logically lead to the demise of the other. On May 12, 1789, Wilberforce made his first speech on the abolition of the slave trade before the House of Commons. He passionately made his case for why the trade was reprehensible and needed to cease. Wilberforce introduced a bill to abolish the trade, but it failed, a result he would become quite familiar with in the ensuing years. Yet Wilberforce never gave up, reintroducing the bill year after year, and the Slave Trade Act was finally passed in 1807.

Worthy Excerpt:

When I consider the magnitude of the subject which I am to bring before the House-a subject, in which the interests, not of this country, nor of Europe alone, but of the whole world, and of posterity, are involved: and when I think, at the same time, on the weakness of the advocate who has undertaken this great cause-when these reflections press upon my mind, it is impossible for me not to feel both terrified and concerned at my own inadequacy to such a task. But when I reflect, however, on the encouragement which I have had, through the whole course of a long and laborious examination of this question, and how much candour I have experienced, and how conviction has increased within my own mind, in proportion as I have advanced in my labours-when I reflect, especially, that however averse any gentleman may now be, yet we shall all be of one opinion in the end-when I turn myself to these thoughts, I take courage-I determine to forget all my other fears, and I march forward with a firmer step in the full assurance that my cause will bear me out, and that I shall be able to justify upon the clearest principles, every resolution in my hand, the avowed end of which is, the total abolition of the slave trade.

10. Theodore Roosevelt, "The Man with the Muck-rake"

April 14, 1906 Washington, D.C.

Theodore Roosevelt was president during the Progressive Era, a time of great enthusiasm for reform in government, the economy, and society. TR himself held many progressive ideals, but he also called for moderation, not extremism. The "Man with a Muck-rake" in Pilgrim's Progress never looked heavenward but instead constantly raked the filth at his feet. TR thus dubbed the journalists and activists of the day who were intent on exposing the corruption in society as "muckrakers." He felt that they did a tremendous amount of good, but needed to mitigate their constant pessimism and alarmist tone. He worried that the sensationalism with which these exposes were often presented would make citizens overly cynical and too prone to throw out the baby with the bathwater.

Worthy Excerpt:

To assail the great and admitted evils of our political and industrial life with such crude and sweeping generalizations as to include decent men in the general condemnation means the searing of the public conscience. There results a general attitude either of cynical belief in and indifference to public corruption or else of a distrustful inability to discriminate between the good and the bad. Either attitude is fraught with untold damage to the country as a whole. The fool who has not sense to discriminate between what is good and what is bad is well-nigh as dangerous as the man who does discriminate and yet chooses the bad. There is nothing more distressing to every good patriot, to every good American, than the hard, scoffing spirit which treats the allegation of dishonesty in a public man as a cause for laughter.

Such laughter is worse than the crackling of thorns under a pot, for it denotes not merely the vacant mind, but the heart in which high emotions have been choked before they could grow to fruition.

11. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, "First Inaugural Address"

March 4, 1933 Washington, D.C.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt handily beat incumbent Herbert Hoover in the 1932 presidential election. The country was deep into the Great Depression, and the public felt that Hoover did not fully sympathize with their plight and was not doing enough to alleviate it. No one was quite clear on what FDR's plan was, but as in today's election season, "change" was enough of an idea to power a campaign. In his First Inaugural Address, Roosevelt sought to buoy up the injured psyche of the American people and present his case for why he would need broad executive powers to tackle the Depression.

Worthy Excerpt:

I am certain that my fellow Americans expect that on my induction into the Presidency I will address them with a candor and a decision which the present situation of our Nation impels. This is preeminently the time to speak the truth, the whole truth, frankly and boldly. Nor need we shrink from honestly facing conditions in our country today. This great Nation will endure as it has endured, will revive and will prosper. So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself-nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. In every dark hour of our national life a leadership of frankness and vigor has met with that understanding and support of the people themselves which is essential to victory. I am convinced that you will again give that support to leadership in these critical days.

12. Charles de Gaulle, "The Appeal of 18 June"

June 18, 1940 London

In June of 1940, it was clear that France was losing their country to the German invasion. Refusing to sign an armistice, Prime Minister Paul Reynaud was forced to resign. He was succeeded by Marshal Philippe Petain who made clear his intention to seek an accommodation with Germany. Disgusted with this decision, General Charles de Gaulle, leader of the Free French Forces, escaped to England on June 15. De Gaulle asked for, and obtained permission from Winston Churchill to make a speech on BBC radio. De Gaulle exhorted the French to not give up hope and to continue the fight against the German occupation and the Vichy Regime.

Worthy Excerpt:

But has the last word been said? Must hope disappear? Is defeat final? No!

Believe me, I who am speaking to you with full knowledge of the facts, and who tell you that nothing is lost for France. The same means that overcame us can bring us victory one day. For France is not alone! She is not alone! She is not alone! She has a vast Empire behind her. She can align with the British Empire that holds the sea and continues the fight. She can, like England, use without limit the immense industry of the United States.

This war is not limited to the unfortunate territory of our country. This war is not over as a result of the Battle of France. This war is a worldwide war. All the mistakes, all the delays, all the suffering, do not alter the fact that there are, in the world, all the means necessary to crush our enemies one day. Vanquished today by mechanical force, in the future we will be able to overcome by a superior mechanical force. The fate of the world depends on it.

13. Socrates, "Apology"

399 B.C. Athens

Socrates is perhaps the greatest teacher in the history of the Western world. He wandered around Athens engaging in dialogues with his fellow citizens that focused on discovering the truth of all things. He taught his pupils that the "unexamined life is not worth living."

The Athenians saw Socrates as a threat, especially to the Athenian youth. Socrates acquired quite a following among the young men of Athens. He taught these impressionable minds to question everything, even Athenian authority. Eventually, Socrates was arrested and put on trial for corrupting the youth, not believing the gods, and creating new deities.

The "Apology" is Socrates' defense to these charges. Instead of crying and pleading for mercy, Socrates accepts his charges and attempts to persuade the jury with reason. He argued that it was his calling from the gods to seek knowledge and that it was through his questions he uncovered truth. To not fulfill his calling would be blasphemy. In the end, Socrates lost and was sentenced to death by hemlock. Socrates accepted this fate willingly and without grudge against his condemners, thus dying as a martyr for free thinking.

Worthy Excerpt:

Some one will say: Yes, Socrates, but cannot you hold your tongue, and then you may go into a foreign city, and no one will interfere with you? Now I have great difficulty in making you understand my answer to this. For if I tell you that to do as you say would be a disobedience to the God, and therefore that I cannot hold my tongue, you will not believe that I am serious and if I say again that daily to discourse about virtue, and of those other things about which you hear me examining myself and others, is the greatest good of man, and that the unexamined life is not worth living, you are still less likely to believe me.

Check out our article on the philosophy of Plato.

14. George Washington, "Resignation Speech"

December 23, 1784 Annapolis, Maryland

As the Revolutionary War drew to a close, there was much speculation that George Washington, then Major General and Commander-in-Chief, would follow in the footsteps of former world leaders by making a grab for supreme power. Some even wished he would do so, hoping he would become the king of a new nation. Yet Washington knew that such a move would wither the fragile beginnings of the new republic. Looking to the Roman general Cincinnatus an exemplar, Washington rejected the temptations of power and resigned his position as Commander-in-Chief. Choosing the right is almost never easy, and as Washington read his speech in front of the Continental Congress, the great statesman trembled so much that he had to hold the parchment with two hands to keep it steady. "The spectators all wept, and there was hardly a member of Congress who did not drop tears. His voice faltered and sunk, and the whole house felt his agitations." When finished, Washington bolted from the door of the Annapolis State House, mounted his horse, and galloped away into the sunset.

Worthy Excerpt:

While I repeat my obligations

to the Army in general, I should do injustice to my own feelings not to acknowledge in this place the peculiar Services and distinguished merits of the Gentlemen who have been attached to my person during the War. It was impossible the choice of confidential Officers to compose my family should have been more fortunate. Permit me Sir, to recommend in particular those, who have continued in Service to the present moment, as worthy of the favorable notice and patronage of Congress.

I consider it an indispensable duty to close this last solemn act of my Official life, by commending the Interests of our dearest Country to the protection of Almighty God, and those who have the superintendence of them, to his holy keeping.

Having now finished the work assigned me, I retire from the great theater of Action and bidding an Affectionate farewell to this August body under whose orders I have so long acted, I here offer my Commission, and take my leave of all the employments of public life.

15. Mahatma Gandhi, "Quit India"

August 8, 1942 India

While the battle for freedom and democracy raged across the world, the people of India were engaged in their own fight for liberty. For almost a century, India had been under the direct rule of the British crown, and many Indians had had enough. Mahatma Gandhi and the National Indian Congress pushed for a completely non-violent movement aimed at forcing Britain to "Quit India." Gandhi, pioneer of the tactics of non-violent civil disobedience, called for their use on August 8, 1942 with the passing of the Quit India Resolution demanding complete independence from British rule.

Worthy Excerpt:

I believe that in the history of the world, there has not been a more genuinely democratic struggle for freedom than ours. I read Carlyle's French Resolution while I was in prison, and Pandit Jawaharlal has told me something about the Russian revolution. But it is my conviction that inasmuch as these struggles were fought with the weapon of violence they failed to realize the democratic ideal. In the democracy which I have envisaged, a democracy established by non-violence, there will be equal freedom for all. Everybody will be his own master. It is to join a struggle for such democracy that I invite you today. Once you realize this you will forget the differences between the Hindus and Muslims, and think of yourselves as Indians only, engaged in the common struggle for independence.

16. Winston Churchill, "Their Finest Hour"

June 18, 1940 House of Commons, London

On May 10, 1940, the Germans began their invasion of France. On June 14 Paris fell. In a matter of days, France would surrender and England would stand as Europe's lone bulwark against the twin evils of Fascism and Nazism. At this critical moment, Churchill gave his third and final speech during the Battle of France, once again imparting words meant to bring hope in this dark hour.

Worthy Excerpt:

What General Weygand called the Battle of France is over. I expect that the Battle of Britain is about to begin. Upon this battle depends the survival of Christian civilization. Upon it depends our own British life, and the long continuity of our institutions and our Empire. The whole fury and might of the enemy must very soon be turned on us.

Hitler knows that he will have to break us in this Island or lose the war. If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and the life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fail, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science.

Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duties, and so bear ourselves that if the British Empire and its Commonwealth last for a thousand years, men will still say, 'This was their finest hour.'

17. William Faulkner, "Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech"

December 10, 1950 Stockholm, Sweden

A true master of the written word, William Faulkner did not often make public his gift for the spoken variety. So there was some interest as to what he would say when accepting the Nobel Peace Prize for his "powerful and artistically unique contribution to the modern American novel." The year was 1950, the Soviet Union had tapped the potential of the atomic bomb, and the atmosphere in the the United States crackled with the fear of them using it. Faulkner challenged poets, authors, and all mankind to think beyond the questions of "When will I be blown up?" and instead continue to "create out of the materials of the human spirit something which did not exist before."

Worthy Excerpt:

I decline to accept the end of man. It is easy enough to say that man is immortal because he will endure: that when the last ding-dong of doom has clanged and faded from the last worthless rock hanging tideless in the last red and dying evening, that even then there will still be one more sound: that of his puny inexhaustible voice, still talking. I refuse to accept this. I believe that man will not merely endure: he will prevail. He is immortal, not because he alone among creatures has an inexhaustible voice, but because he has a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance. The poet's, the writer's, duty is to write about these things. It is his privilege to help man endure by lifting his heart, by reminding him of the courage and honor and hope and pride and compassion and pity and sacrifice which have been the glory of his past. The poet's voice need not merely be the record of man, it can be one of the props, the pillars to help him endure and prevail.

18. Dwight D. Eisenhower, "Farewell Address"

January 17, 1961 Washington, D.C.

The 1950's were a time of ever increasing military spending, as the United States sought to fight communism abroad and prevent it at home. As President Dwight D. Eisenhower left office, more than half of the federal budget was allocated for defense purposes. Eisenhower, former General of the Army, was certainly not opposed to the use of military power to keep the peace. Still, he saw fit to use his "Farewell Address" to warn the nation of the dangers posed by the "military-industrial complex," referring to the relationship between the armed forces, the government, and the suppliers of war materials. Eisenhower was wary of the large role defense spending played in the economy, and understood the political and corporate corruption that could result if the public was not vigilant in checking it.

Worthy Excerpt:

In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

19. Marcus Tullius Cicero, "The First Oration Against Catiline"

Lucius Sergius Catilina (Catiline to his friends) was a very jealous man. Having once run against Cicero for the position of consul and lost, he became determined to win the next election by any devious method necessary. Plan A was to bribe people to vote for him, and when that didn't work, he decided to go for bust and simply knock Cicero off on election day. This plan was ferreted out by the ever vigilant Cicero, the election was postponed, and the Senate established marital law. When the election finally was held, the murderer-cum-candidate was surprisingly trounced at the polls. Now it was time for Catiline's Plan C: raise an army of co-conspirators, create insurrection throughout Italy, overthrow the government, and slice and dice as many Senators as they could get their coo-ky hands on. But Cicero was again one step ahead and discovered the plan. He called the Senate together for a meeting at the Temple of Jupiter in the Capitol, an orifice only used in times of great crisis. Catiline, who seriously didn't know when he was not welcome, decided to crash the party. With his archenemy in attendance, Cicero began his Catiline Orations, a series of speeches covering how he saved Rome from rebellion, the guilt of Catiline, and the need to whack he and his cronies.

Worthy Excerpt:

I wish, O conscript fathers, to be merciful I wish not to appear negligent amid such danger to the state but I do now accuse myself of remissness and culpable inactivity. A camp is pitched in Italy, at the entrance of Etruria, in hostility to the republic the number of the enemy increases every day and yet the general of that camp, the leader of those enemies, we see within the walls-aye, and even in the senate-planning every day some internal injury to the republic. If, O Catiline, I should now order you to be arrested, to be put to death, I should, I suppose, have to fear lest all good men should say that I had acted tardily, rather than that any one should affirm that I acted cruelly. But yet this, which ought to have been done long since, I have good reason for not doing as yet I will put you to death, then, when there shall be not one person possible to be found so wicked, so abandoned, so like yourself, as not to allow that it has been rightly done. As long as one person exists who can dare to defend you, you shall live but you shall live as you do now, surrounded by my many and trusty guards, so that you shall not be able to stir one finger against the republic many eyes and ears shall still observe and watch you, as they have hitherto done, tho you shall not perceive them.

20. Ronald Reagan, "Remarks at the Brandenburg Gate"

June 12, 1987 Brandenburg Gate, Berlin

Since the end of World War II, Germany had been a divided country, the West free and democratic, the East under authoritarian communist control. When President Reagan took office, he was committed not only to uniting that country, but to bringing down the entire "Evil Empire." While the importance of Reagan's role in successfully doing so is endlessly debated, it beyond dispute that he exerted some influence in bringing the Cold War to an end. There is no more memorable and symbolic moment of this influence then when Reagan stood at the Berlin wall, the most visible symbol of the "Iron Curtain," and challenged Gorbachev to "tear down this wall!"

Worthy Excerpt:

We welcome change and openness for we believe that freedom and security go together, that the advance of human liberty can only strengthen the cause of world peace. There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom and peace. General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!

21. Pericles, "Funeral Oration"

431 BC Athens

Pericles, master statesman, orator, and general, was truly, as Thuciydies dubbed him, "the first citizen of Athens." Pericles was a product of the Sophists and had been personally tutored by the great philosopher Anaxagoras. His study with the Sophists made Pericles a highly persuasive orator. Through his speeches, he galvanized Athenians to undertake an enormous public works project that created hundreds of temples, including the Pantheon.

Pericles' gift of oration was put to the test during the epic battles of the Peloponnesian War, a civil war between Athens and Sparta. His speeches inspired Athenians to fight to become the number one power in Greece. In February of 431 B.C., Athens had their annual public funeral to honor all those who died in war. Pericles was asked to give the traditional funeral oration. Rather than focus his speech on enumerating the conquests of Athens' fallen heroes, Pericles instead used his funeral oration to laud the glory of Athens itself and inspire the living to make sure the soldiers had not died in vain.

Over 2,000 years later, Pericles' funeral oration inspired Abraham Lincoln's "Gettysburg Address." Like Pericles, Lincoln was a leader during a time of civil war. Like Pericles, Lincoln focused on exhorting the living to live their lives in a way that would make the sacrifice of fallen warriors worthwhile.

Worthy Excerpt:

So died these men as became Athenians. You, their survivors, must determine to have as unfaltering a resolution in the field, though you may pray that it may have a happier issue. And not contented with ideas derived only from words of the advantages which are bound up with the defense of your country, though these would furnish a valuable text to a speaker even before an audience so alive to them as the present, you must yourselves realize the power of Athens, and feed your eyes upon her from day to day, till love of her fills your hearts and then, when all her greatness shall break upon you, you must reflect that it was by courage, sense of duty, and a keen feeling of honor in action that men were enabled to win all this, and that no personal failure in an enterprise could make them consent to deprive their country of their valor, but they laid it at her feet as the most glorious contribution that they could offer.

22. General Douglas MacArthur, "Farewell Address to Congress"

April 19, 1951, Washington D.C.

During the Korean War, General MacArthur and President Truman clashed over the threat posed by the Chinese People's Liberation Army and their incursion into Korea. MacArthur continually pressed Truman for permission to bomb bases in Manchuria, believing the war needed to be extended in area and scope. Truman refused the General's requests, arguing that directly drawing China into the war would arouse the Soviet Union to action. MacArthur continued to press his case, and Truman, accusing the General of insubordination, made the decision to relieve MacArthur of his command. After serving for 52 years and in three wars, the General's military career was over. MacArthur returned to the United States and gave this farewell address to Congress.

Worthy Excerpt:

I am closing my 52 years of military service. When I joined the Army, even before the turn of the century, it was the fulfillment of all of my boyish hopes and dreams. The world has turned over many times since I took the oath on theplain at West Point, and the hopes and dreams have long since vanished, but I still remember the refrain of one of the most popular barrack ballads of that day which proclaimed most proudly that "old soldiers never die they just fade away."

And like the old soldier of that ballad, I now close my military career and just fade away, an old soldier who tried to do his duty as God gave him the light to see that duty.

Good Bye.

23. Theodore Roosevelt, "Strength and Decency"

Roosevelt was an advocate of having many children and making sure the next generation would continue to uphold the great virtues of civilization. He was always concerned that young men not be coddled or cowardly, and grow up to live rugged, strenuous, and thoroughly manly lives. But he also strongly believed that being ruggedly manly and being refined in mind and spirit were not incompatible and should in fact go hand and hand. In this speech, he exhorts young men to pursue virtuous manliness. Amen, brother, amen.

Worthy Excerpt:

It is peculiarly incumbent upon you who have strength to set a right example to others. I ask you to remember that you cannot retain your self-respect if you are loose and foul of tongue, that a man who is to lead a clean and honorable life must inevitably suffer if his speech likewise is not clean and honorable. Every man here knows the temptations that beset all of us in this world. At times any man will slip. I do not expect perfection, but I do expect genuine and sincere effort toward being decent and cleanly in thought, in word, and in deed. As I said at the outset, I hail the work of this society as typifying one of those forces which tend to the betterment and uplifting of our social system. Our whole effort should be toward securing a combination of the strong qualities with those qualities which we term virtues. I expect you to be strong. I would not respect you if you were not. I do not want to see Christianity professed only by weaklings I want to see it a moving spirit among men of strength. I do not expect you to lose one particle of your strength or courage by being decent. On the contrary, I should hope to see each man who is a member of this society, from his membership in it become all the fitter to do the rough work of the world all the fitter to work in time of peace and if, which may Heaven forfend, war should come, all the fitter to fight in time of war. I desire to see in this country the decent men strong and the strong men decent, and until we get that combination in pretty good shape we are not going to be by any means as successful as we should be. There is always a tendency among very young men and among boys who are not quite young men as yet to think that to be wicked is rather smart to think it shows that they are men. Oh, how often you see some young fellow who boasts that he is going to "see life," meaning by that that he is going to see that part of life which it is a thousandfold better should remain unseen!

24. Abraham Lincoln, "2nd Inaugural Address"

March 4, 1865 Washington, D.C.

The Union's victory was but a month away as Abraham Lincoln began his second term as president of a bitterly ruptured United States. Like the Gettysburg Address, Lincoln keeps this speech only as long as needful. While there are those who still debate whether the Civil War was truly fought over slavery or not, Lincoln certainly believed so. To him, slavery was a great national sin, and the blood shed during the war was the atoning sacrifice for that evil.

He does not relish the prospect of coming victory instead, he appeals to his countrymen to remember that the war was truly fought between brothers. When the war was over and the Confederacy forced to return to the Union, Lincoln was prepared to treat the South with relative leniency. He did not believe secession was truly possible, and thus the South had never truly left the Union. Reconstruction would not mean vengeance, but the return home of a terribly errant son.

Worthy Excerpt:

Fondly do we hope, fervently do we pray, that this mighty scourge of war may speedily pass away. Yet, if God wills that it continue until all the wealth piled by the bondsman's two hundred and fifty years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash shall be paid by another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago, so still it must be said "the judgments of the Lord are true and righteous altogether."

With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation's wounds, to care for him who shall have borne the battle and for his widow and his orphan, to do all which may achieve and cherish a just and lasting peace among ourselves and with all nations.

25. Patrick Henry, "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death!"

March 23, 1775 Richmond, VA

For a decade, revolutionary sentiments had been brewing in Virginia and Patrick Henry had always been in the thick of it, stirring the pot. Henry became particularly enflamed by the Stamp Act of 1764, which prompted him to give his so-called "treason speech," spurring the Burgesses to pass the Virginia Resolves banning the act. Tensions between the colonies and the Crown continued to build, and in 1775, Massachusetts patriots began making preparations for war. Henry believed that Virginia should follow suit. At a meeting held in St. John's Church in Richmond, Henry presented resolutions to make ready Virginia's defenses. Seeking to persuade his fellow delegates of the urgency of his message, he gave a rousing and memorable speech, climaxing is that now famous line, "Give me liberty of give me death!"

Worthy Excerpt:

The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave. Besides, sir, we have no election. If we were base enough to desire it, it is now too late to retire from the contest. There is no retreat but in submission and slavery! Our chains are forged! Their clanking may be heard on the plains of Boston! The war is inevitable -- and let it come! I repeat it, sir, let it come!

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter. Gentlemen may cry, "Peace! Peace!" -- but there is no peace. The war is actually begun! The next gale that sweeps from the north will bring to our ears the clash of resounding arms! Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand we here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take but as for me, give me liberty, or give me death!

26. Ronald Reagan, "40th Anniversary of D-Day"

June 6, 1984 Pointe du Hoc, France

What the Army Rangers did on D-Day at Pointe Du Hoc is a tale every man worth his salt should be familiar with. Pointe du Hoc was a sheer 100 foot cliff located in-between Omaha and Utah beaches. Perched atop the cliff sat six casemates capable of being manned, armed, and taking out the men on the beaches. As the Germans fired upon them, the Rangers scaled the cliff using ropes and ladders, found the guns (which had been moved from the casemates) and destroyed them. Without reinforcements for two days, the Rangers alone held their position and fended off German counterattacks. These skirmishes proved deadly only 90 of the original 225 Ranger landing force survived.

On the 40 th anniversary of D-Day, President Reagan gave a moving tribute to these men, many of whom were present at the occasion.

Worthy Excerpt:

These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc. These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. These are the heroes who helped end a war.

Gentlemen, I look at you and I think of the words of Stephen Spender's poem. You are men who in your 'lives fought for life. and left the vivid air signed with your honor'.

Forty summers have passed since the battle that you fought here. You were young the day you took these cliffs some of you were hardly more than boys, with the deepest joys of life before you. Yet you risked everything here. Why? Why did you do it? What impelled you to put aside the instinct for self-preservation and risk your lives to take these cliffs? What inspired all the men of the armies that met here? We look at you, and somehow we know the answer. It was faith, and belief it was loyalty and love.

The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next. It was the deep knowledge -- and pray God we have not lost it -- that there is a profound moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. And you were right not to doubt.

27. John F. Kennedy, "The Decision to Go to the Moon"

May 25, 1961 Houston, TX

On April 12, 1961, the Soviets launched the first man into space. Khrushchev used this triumph as prime evidence of communism's superiority over decadent capitalism. Embarrassed, the United States feared it was falling behind the Soviet Union and losing the "space race." After consulting with political and NASA officials, Kennedy decided it was time for America to boldly go where no man had gone before by putting a man on the moon. The feat would not only catapult the nation over the Soviet Union, but also allow man to more fully explore the mysteries of space. And this mission would be accomplished by the end of the 1960's. When was the last time a president had the cajones to publicly issue a straightforward, ambitious goal and set a timeline for its success?

Worthy Excerpt:

There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation many never come again. But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

28. Frederick Douglass, "What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?"

July 5, 1852 Rochester, NY

Frederick Douglass, former slave, abolitionist, and engineer on the underground railroad, was a popular speaker on the anti-slavery circuit. He traveled thousands of miles each year, giving hundreds of speeches. Yet the money he earned from lecturing was not enough to become financially comfortable, and he and his family struggled. Douglass was disillusioned by the repercussions of the Fugitive Slave Act, and his abolitionist leanings grew more strident and bold. If the citizens of Rochester, New York had expected to be flattered by Douglass when they asked him to speak on the Fourth, they were soon disavowed of that idea. Douglass took the opportunity to defiantly point out the ripe hypocrisy of a nation celebrating their ideals of freedom and equality while simultaneously mired in the evil of slavery. While the speech surely made even the most liberal audience members squirm nonetheless, the crowed let loose in "universal applause" when Douglass finished.

Worthy Excerpt:

I am not included within the pale of this glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you this day rejoice are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity, and independence bequeathed by your fathers is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought life and healing to you has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth of July is yours, not mine. Youmay rejoice, I must mourn. To drag a man in fetters into the grand illuminated temple of liberty, and call upon him to join you in joyous anthems, were inhuman mockery and sacrilegious irony. Do you mean, citizens, to mock me, by asking me to speak today?

29. General Douglas MacArthur, "Duty, Honor, Country"

May 12, 1962 West Point, New York

General Douglas MacArthur, General of the Army and a man who fought in three wars, knew something of "Duty, Honor, Country." In 1962, MacArthur was in the twilight of his life and came to West Point to accept the Sylvanus Thayer Award and participate in his final cadet roll call. His address reflects upon and celebrates the brave and courageous men who came before, men he personally led, men who embodied "Duty, Honor, Country."

There are many great speeches in this list, but I hope you will pause to read the entirety of this one. Picking an excerpt was quite difficult, as so many of the passages are inspiring. A must read for all men.

Worthy Excerpt:

You are the leaven which binds together the entire fabric of our national system of defense. From your ranks come the great captains who hold the nation's destiny in their hands the moment the war tocsin sounds. The Long Gray Line has never failed us. Were you to do so, a million ghosts in olive drab, in brown khaki, in blue and gray, would rise from their white crosses thundering those magic words: Duty, Honor, Country.

This does not mean that you are war mongers.

On the contrary, the soldier, above all other people, prays for peace, for he must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war.

But always in our ears ring the ominous words of Plato, that wisest of all philosophers: "Only the dead have seen the end of war."

The shadows are lengthening for me. The twilight is here. My days of old have vanished, tone and tint. They have gone glimmering through the dreams of things that were. Their memory is one of wondrous beauty, watered by tears, and coaxed and caressed by the smiles of yesterday. I listen vainly, but with thirsty ears, for the witching melody of faint bugles blowing reveille, of far drums beating the long roll. In my dreams I hear again the crash of guns, the rattle of musketry, the strange, mournful mutter of the battlefield.

But in the evening of my memory, always I come back to West Point.

Always there echoes and re-echoes: Duty, Honor, Country.

30. Theodore Roosevelt, "Citizenship in a Republic"

April 23, 1910 Paris, France

At the end of Theodore Roosevelt's second term in office, he set out to tour Africa and Europe, hoping to allow his successor, President Taft, to step into the enormous shoes TR had left and become his own man. After a safari in Africa, he traveled throughout Europe. While in France, he was invited to speak at the historic University of Paris. Roosevelt used the opportunity to deliver a powerful address on the requirements of citizenship, the characteristics which would keep democracies like France and the United States robust and strong. This speech is famous for the "man in the arena" quote, but the entire speech is an absolute must read.

Worthy Excerpt:

Let the man of learning, the man of lettered leisure, beware of that queer and cheap temptation to pose to himself and to others as a cynic, as the man who has outgrown emotions and beliefs, the man to whom good and evil are as one. The poorest way to face life is to face it with a sneer. There are many men who feel a kind of twister pride in cynicism there are many who confine themselves to criticism of the way others do what they themselves dare not even attempt. There is no more unhealthy being, no man less worthy of respect, than he who either really holds, or feigns to hold, an attitude of sneering disbelief toward all that is great and lofty, whether in achievement or in that noble effort which, even if it fails, comes to second achievement. A cynical habit of thought and speech, a readiness to criticise work which the critic himself never tries to perform, an intellectual aloofness which will not accept contact with life's realities - all these are marks, not as the possessor would fain to think, of superiority but of weakness. They mark the men unfit to bear their part painfully in the stern strife of living, who seek, in the affection of contempt for the achievements of others, to hide from others and from themselves in their own weakness. The rôle is easy there is none easier, save only the rôle of the man who sneers alike at both criticism and performance.

It is not the critic who counts not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood who strives valiantly who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming but who does actually strive to do the deeds who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions who spends himself in a worthy cause who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

31. Winston Churchill, "Blood, Sweat, and Tears"

May 13, 1940 House of Commons, London

Winston Churchill's first speech to the House of Commons as Britain's new Prime Minister got off to an auspicious start. His welcome to that assembly was quite tepid, while outgoing PM Neville Chamberlain was enthusiastically applauded (the world did not yet know just how disastrous his appeasement policies would prove and did not trust Churchill). But Churchill's first speech, the first of three powerful oratories he gave during the Battle of France, would prove that England was in more than capable hands. A seemingly unstoppable Hitler was advancing rapidly across Europe, and Churchill wasted no time in calling his people to arms. While TR had actually been the first to utter the phrase, "blood, sweat and tears," it was Churchill's use of these words that would leave an inedible and inspiring impression upon the world's mind.

Worthy Excerpt

I say to the House as I said to ministers who have joined this government, I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears, and sweat. We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many months of struggle and suffering.

You ask, what is our policy? I say it is to wage war by land, sea, and air. War with all our might and with all the strength God has given us, and to wage war against a monstrous tyranny never surpassed in the dark and lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy.

You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory. Victory at all costs - Victory in spite of all terrors - Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival.

32. Franklin Delano Roosevelt, "Pearl Harbor Address to the Nation"

December 8, 1941 Washington, D.C.

The attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, shocked the United States to its core, outraging a nation that had hoped to stay out of the mounting turmoil in Asia and Europe. Overnight, the country united in desire to enter the war. The day after the attacks, FDR addressed the nation in a brief, but electrifying speech, declaring war on Japan and giving assurance that the United States would attain victory.

Be sure to listen to the audio of the speech. Imagine every American family, rattled and worried, listening around the radio to what their president would say. They knew their whole world was about to change forever. Listen to the reaction of Congress as they applaud and cheer FDR's words. The emotion is so very real and palatable it truly transports you back to that critical moment in time.

Worthy Excerpt:

Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, members of the Senate and the House of Representatives: yesterday, December 7, 1941-a date which will live in infamy-the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.

But always will our whole nation remember the character of the onslaught against us. No matter how long it may take us to overcome this premeditated invasion, the American people in their righteous might will win through to absolute victory.

I believe that I interpret the will of the Congress and of the people when I assert that we will not only defend ourselves to the uttermost but will make it very certain that this form of treachery shall never again endanger us.

Hostilities exist. There is no blinking at the fact that our people, our territory and our interests are in grave danger.

With confidence in our armed forces-with the unbounding determination of our people-we will gain the inevitable triumph-so help us God.

33. Jesus Christ, "The Sermon on the Mount"

33 A.D. Jerusalem

Whether one believes that Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God or simply a wise teacher, it is impossible to deny the impact of perhaps the world's most famous speech: The Sermon on the Mount. No speech has been more pondered, more influential, or more quoted. It introduced a prayer now familiar the world over and uttered in trenches, churches, and bedsides around the globe. It introduced a code of conduct billions of believers have adopted as their lofty, if not not always attainable, goal. While much of the sermon has roots in Jewish law, the advice given in the Beatitudes represented a dramatic and radical departure from the eye for an eye system of justice known in the ancient world. The standards of behavior outlined in the sermon have given believers and non-believers alike plenty to contemplate and discuss in the two thousand years since it was given.

Worthy Excerpt:

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after
righteousness: for they shall be filled.

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the
children of God.

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake:
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

See Matthew Chapter 5-7 for full text.

34. Martin Luther King Jr., "I Have a Dream"

August 28, 1963 Washington, D.C.

Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream Speech" is hands down one of the greatest, if not the greatest, pieces of oratory in American history. King's charisma, skills in rhetoric, and passion, place him in a league of his own. A century after slavery ended, a century after African-Americans were promised full equality, black children were being hosed down in the streets, spat upon, bused to separate schools, turned away from restaurants, and denied treatment as full human beings. In this midst of this egregious track record, Dr. King voiced a clear, compelling message of hope, a dream that things would not always be as they were, and that a new day was coming.

Many people have seen excerpts of the speech, but a surprisingly number of adults my age I have never sat down and watched the speech in its entirety. I challenge you to do just that. It is just as electrifying and moving today as it was in 1963.

Worthy Excerpt:

I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification - one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today.

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.

This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

This will be the day, this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning "My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my father's died, land of the Pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!"

35. Abraham Lincoln, "The Gettysburg Address"

November 19, 1863 Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

272 words. 3 minutes long. Yet, the Gettysburg Address is unarguably one of the greatest pieces of rhetoric in American history. Dr. J Rufus Fears (one of the great modern orators) argues that the Gettysburg Address, along with the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, form the three founding documents of American freedom. And I have to agree.

The Battle of Gettysburg left 8,000 men dead. The bodies were too numerous to bury properly and many were at first placed in shallow graves. Weeks after the battle, heads and arms were sticking up through the ground and the smell of rotting flesh was sickening.

Money was raised for a proper reburial, and it was decided that the new cemetery should be dedicated, to sweeten the air of Gettysburg, to solemnize this place of death. As was traditional, a great orator, in this case, Edward Everett, was asked to give a solemn and grand speech as a memorial to the fallen men. Lincoln was asked 2 months later, almost as a causal afterthought. He was to add a few remarks to Everett's, a function much like the man with the ceremonial scissors who cuts the ribbon. Legends has it that Lincoln's remarks were the product of pure inspiration, penned on the back of an envelope on the train chugging its way to the soon-to-be hallowed grounds of Gettysburg.

On the day of the dedication, Everett kept the crowd enthralled for a full two hours. Lincoln got up, gave his speech, and sat down even before the photographer had finished setting up for a picture. There was a long pause before anyone applauded, and then the applause was scattered and polite.

Not everyone immediately realized the magnificence of Lincoln's address. But some did. In a letter to Lincoln, Everett praised the President for his eloquent and concise speech, saying, "I should be glad if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes."

And of course, in time, we have come to fully appreciate the genius and beauty of the words spoken that day. Dr. Fears argues that Lincoln's address did more than memorialize the fallen soldiers at Gettysburg it accomplished nothing short of transforming the entire meaning of the Civil War. There were no details of the battle mentioned in the speech, no mentioning of soldier's names, of Gettysburg itself, of the South nor the Union, states rights nor secession. Rather, Lincoln meant the speech to be something far larger, a discourse on the experiment testing whether government can maintain the proposition of equality. At Gettysburg, the Constitution experienced a transformation. The first birth has been tainted by slavery. The men, of both North and South, lying in the graves at Gettysburg had made an atoning sacrifice for this great evil. And the Constitution would be reborn, this time living up to its promises of freedom and equality for all.

The Speech

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate - we cannot consecrate - we cannot hallow - this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain - that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Douglas Aircraft Company

The Douglas Aircraft Company was an American aerospace manufacturer based in Southern California. It was founded in 1921 by Donald Wills Douglas Sr. and later merged with McDonnell Aircraft in 1967 to form McDonnell Douglas, when it then operated as a division of McDonnell Douglas. McDonnell Douglas later merged with Boeing in 1997.



The company was founded by Donald Wills Douglas Sr. on July 22, 1921 in Santa Monica, California, following dissolution of the Davis-Douglas Company. [1] An early claim to fame was the first circumnavigation of the world by air in Douglas airplanes in 1924. In 1923, the U.S. Army Air Service was interested in carrying out a mission to circumnavigate the Earth for the first time by aircraft, a program called "World Flight". [2] Donald Douglas proposed a modified Douglas DT to meet the Army's needs. [3] The two-place, open cockpit DT biplane torpedo bomber had previously been produced for the U.S. Navy. [4] The DTs were taken from the assembly lines at the company's manufacturing plants in Rock Island, Illinois, and Dayton, Ohio, to be modified. [5]

The modified aircraft known as the Douglas World Cruiser (DWC), also was the first major project for Jack Northrop who designed the fuel system for the series. [6] After the prototype was delivered in November 1923, upon the successful completion of tests on 19 November, the Army commissioned Douglas to build four production series aircraft. [7] Due to the demanding expedition ahead, spare parts, including 15 extra Liberty L-12 engines, 14 extra sets of pontoons, and enough replacement airframe parts for two more aircraft were chosen. These were sent to airports along the route. The last of these aircraft was delivered to the U.S. Army on 11 March 1924. [4]

The four aircraft left Seattle, Washington, on 6 April 1924, flying west, and returned there on 28 September to great acclaim, although one plane was forced down over the Atlantic and sank. After the success of this flight, the Army Air Service ordered six similar aircraft as observation aircraft. [8] [9] The success of the DWC established the Douglas Aircraft Company among the major aircraft companies of the world and led it to adopt the motto "First Around the World – First the World Around". [10]

Douglas initially used a logo that combined two letter Ds and wings, and two Ds joined as a heart as a reference to the Clan Douglas. After the success of the DWC, the company adopted a logo that showed three airplanes circling a globe. The logo eventually evolved into an aircraft, a missile, and a globe. This logo was later adopted by McDonnell Douglas in 1967, and became the basis of Boeing's current logo after their merger in 1997. [11] [12]


Douglas Aircraft designed and built a wide variety of aircraft for the U.S. military, including the Navy, Army Air Forces, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.

The company initially built torpedo bombers for the U.S. Navy, but it developed a number of different versions of these aircraft, including reconnaissance planes and airmail aircraft. Within five years, the company was building about 100 aircraft annually. Among the early employees at Douglas were Ed Heinemann, "Dutch" Kindelberger, Carl Cover, and Jack Northrop, who later founded the Northrop Corporation. [13]

The company retained its military market and expanded into amphibian airplanes in the late 1920s, also moving its facilities to Clover Field at Santa Monica, California. The Santa Monica complex was so large, the mail girls used roller skates to deliver the intracompany mail. By the end of World War II, Douglas had facilities at Santa Monica, El Segundo, Long Beach, and Torrance, California, Tulsa and Midwest City, Oklahoma, and Chicago, Illinois. [14]

In 1934, Douglas produced a commercial twin-engined transport plane, the Douglas DC-2, followed by the famous DC-3 in 1936. The wide range of aircraft produced by Douglas included airliners, light and medium bombers, fighter aircraft, transports, reconnaissance aircraft, and experimental aircraft.

The company is most famous for the "DC" (Douglas Commercial) series of commercial aircraft, including what is often regarded as the most significant transport aircraft ever made: the Douglas DC-3, which was also produced as a military transport known as the C-47 Skytrain or "Dakota" in British service. Many Douglas aircraft had long service lives.

World War II

During World War II, Douglas joined the BVD (Boeing-Vega-Douglas) consortium to produce the B-17 Flying Fortress. After the war, Douglas built another Boeing design under license, the B-47 Stratojet turbojet-powered bomber, using a government-owned factory in Marietta, Georgia. [14]

World War II was a major boost for Douglas. Douglas ranked fifth among United States corporations in the value of wartime production contracts. [16] The company produced almost 30,000 aircraft from 1942 to 1945, and its workforce swelled to 160,000. The company produced a number of aircraft including the C-47 Skytrain, the DB-7 (known as the A-20, Havoc or Boston), the SBD Dauntless dive bomber, and the A-26 Invader. [17] [18] [19]


Douglas Aircraft suffered cutbacks at the end of the war, with an end to government aircraft orders and a surplus of aircraft. It was necessary to cut heavily into its workforce, letting go of nearly 100,000 workers.

The United States Army Air Forces established 'Project RAND' (Research ANd Development) [20] with the objective of looking into long-range planning of future weapons. [21] In March 1946, Douglas Aircraft Company was granted the contract to research on intercontinental warfare. [21] Project RAND later become the RAND Corporation.

Douglas continued to develop new aircraft, including the successful four-engined Douglas DC-6 (1946) and its last propeller-driven commercial aircraft, the Douglas DC-7 (1953). The company had moved into jet propulsion, producing its first for the U.S. Navy — the straight-winged F3D Skyknight in 1948 and then the more "jet age" style F4D Skyray in 1951. Douglas also made commercial jets, producing the Douglas DC-8 in 1958 to compete with the new Boeing 707.

Douglas was a pioneer in related fields, such as ejection seats, air-to-air missiles, surface-to-air missiles, and air-to-surface missiles, launch rockets, bombs, and bomb racks.

The company was ready to enter the new missile business during the 1950s. Douglas moved from producing air-to-air rockets and missiles to entire missile systems under the 1956 Nike missile program and became the main contractor for the Skybolt air-launched ballistic missile program and the Thor ballistic missile program. Douglas also earned contracts from NASA, most notably for designing the S-IVB stage of the Saturn IB and Saturn V rockets.


In 1967, the company was struggling to expand production to meet demand for DC-8 and DC-9 airliners and the A-4 Skyhawk military attack aircraft. The company was also struggling with quality and cash flow problems and DC-10 development costs, as well as shortages due to the Vietnam War. Under the circumstances, Douglas was very receptive to an offer from McDonnell Aircraft Corporation. On April 28, 1967, after almost four years of merger talks, the two companies merged as McDonnell Douglas Corporation.

The two companies seemed to be a good match for each other. McDonnell was a major defense contractor, but had almost no civilian business. Douglas' commercial contracts would allow McDonnell to withstand any downturns in procurement. [22] Conversely, McDonnell had enough revenue to help solve Douglas' financial problems soon after the merger was announced, McDonnell bought 1.5 million shares of Douglas stock to help Douglas meet "immediate financial requirements." [23]

The merged company was based at McDonnell's facility in St. Louis, Missouri. It adopted a modified version of Douglas' logo. Donald Douglas became honorary chairman of the merged company, a post he would hold until his death in 1981. Douglas Aircraft continued as a wholly owned subsidiary of McDonnell Douglas, with Douglas' son, Donald Jr., as president. [22] Later, former McDonnell president David Lewis became chairman of Douglas Aircraft. His successful turnaround of the division allowed him to become president of McDonnell Douglas in 1969. Meanwhile, Douglas' space and missiles division became part of a new subsidiary called McDonnell Douglas Astronautics Company.

McDonnell Douglas later merged with its rival Boeing in 1997. [24] Boeing merged Douglas Aircraft into the Boeing Commercial Airplanes division, and the Douglas Aircraft name was retired after 76 years. The last Long Beach-built commercial aircraft, the Boeing 717 (third generation version of the Douglas DC-9), ceased production in May 2006. By 2011, the Boeing C-17 Globemaster III was the last aircraft being assembled at the Long Beach facility the final C-17 was assembled in late 2015. [25] However, the Douglas' former logo is preserved on the facility though no longer used by Boeing. [26] [27]

The 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment

In early 1863, Douglass was paid $10 per week by the Massachusetts Legislature to recruit African American men for the 54 th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment, the first Black military unit raised by the North during the Civil War. He would use his self-published newspaper, Douglass’ Monthly, as a powerful communication tool𠅋oth to recruit Black men and to convince white people who doubted Black men’s ability and aptitude to fight. Douglass mass-produced his Men of Color broadside and had it displayed widely across northern cities. According to David Blight, author of the biography Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, Douglass, who often addressed his audiences as 𠇋rothers and Fathers,” had come to view the war as a “special affair of black fraternity and manhood.”

But even as African Americans showed skepticism of the treatment they would receive within the Union Army, many were persuaded by Douglass’ appeals to their manliness and the rights of manhood. Douglass’s own sons, Lewis and Charles, became two of the first to volunteer for the 54th, which ultimately comprised more than 1,000 men from 15 Northern states. On May 28, 1863, the regiment marched through the Boston streets before they set sail for Beaufort, South Carolina. Douglass was there to send off his sons and many of the men that he had recruited into the regiment. “No one who witnessed this event would ever forget what they saw that day,” wrote Blight: 𠇊 thousand smartly stepping black men with Enfield rifles, leaning forward gracefully, moving as one body toward history, heroism, and death to prove to their slaveholding country that they were indeed truly men.”

For Douglass and his recruits, wearing the uniforms carried great symbolism and pride. 𠇊n eagle on his button, and a musket on his shoulder, and his bullets in his pockets,” Douglass said, “there is no power on earth…which can deny that he has earned the right of citizenship in the United States.” While he may not have agreed with the crude, debasing language, Douglass would have agreed with the white Union officer who described the metamorphosis of Black man-turned-soldier: “Yesterday a filthy, repulsive ‘n****r’, today a neatly attired man, yesterday a slave, today a freeman, yesterday a civilian, today a soldier. He is nothing of what he ever before was, he never was aught of what he now is.”

Approval granted

Subsequently, after initial concerns, regulatory bodies gave the go-ahead for the merger. The European Commission said it found that the proposal would lead to a notable strengthening of Boeing’s existing presence in the worldwide market for large commercial jets.

The European Union body said the following:

“The Commission considers that this strengthening arises from MDC’s own competitive potential in large commercial jet aircraft, from the enhanced opportunity for Boeing to enter into long-term exclusive supply deals with airlines (already exemplified by those with American, Continental and Delta), and from the acquisition of MDC’s defence and space activities, which latter confer advantages in the commercial aircraft sector through “spill-over” effects in the form of R&D benefits and technology transfer.”

However, Boeing affirmed that there will be the cessation of existing and future exclusive supply deals. Moreover, there would be “ring-fencing” of McDonnell Douglas’ plane activity. There also would be licensing of patents to other jet producers. Most significantly, the company said that it wouldn’t abuse relationships with suppliers and customers while reporting regularly to the European Commission. Approval was subsequently granted.

Like the terrain of the Big Bend counties that surround it, massive floods during the waning of the Ice Age in the wake of the retreating Vashon Glacier some 12,000 to 20,000 years ago shaped the land that is now Douglas County, forming deep canyons (coulees). Moses Coulee, a massive gorge that cuts north south through the southern part of Douglas County, is the one of Washington's most spectacular remaining coulees. The coulee floor lies some 500 feet down, surrounded by basalt cliffs. Moses Coulee supports one of the Washington's largest remaining undeveloped examples of the shrub-steppe ecoregion (consisting of sagebrush, rabbitbrush, greasewood, hopsage, bitterbrush, and buckwheat) once visible throughout the Big Bend area. The completion of Grand Coulee Dam in 1941 flooded Grand Coulee, another massive channel, creating the equalizing reservoir called Banks Lake.

The foothills of the Cascade mountain range form the western portion of the county. This hilly terrain is well suited to tree fruit. Central and Eastern Douglas County are flatter and suited to raising grain, especially wheat and barley.

The Colville Tribe, a Salishan people whose pre-contact name was pronounced Scheulpi or Chualpay, inhabited much of the area that would become Douglas County, migrating across the region to the Columbia River during salmon season. The Colville Tribe did not sign any treaty with the United States Government. In 1872 the Colvilles, along with other tribes and bands who had not signed treaties, were confined to the Colville reservation, effectively ending their unrestricted access to land in the future Douglas County.

A Sinkiuse/Sinkuone band under Chief Moses/Quelatican (ca. 1829-1899) also inhabited the region along the east side of the Columbia River. Moses and his band were forced to settle on the Colville reservation in 1884.

Representatives of John Jacob Astor's (1763-1848) Pacific Fur Company established Fort Okanogan, the first American outpost in what is now the state of Washington, on a well-established Indian trail near the confluence of the Okanogan and Columbia rivers in 1811. The site was flooded in 1957 during the construction of Wells Dam.

Chinese immigrants placer-mined for gold along the banks of the Columbia River beginning in the 1860s. An Illustrated History of the Big Bend Country, published in 1904, lists a number of what it termed ruins of Chinese villages. At least one abandoned village, near the confluence of the Columbia and Chelan rivers, was still clearly visible in 1904. Indians from the Methow River attacked these Chinese miners in 1875, killing an unknown number of miners and driving many others away from their mining operations. Other Chinese miners continued to work claims along the Columbia near Rock Island into the mid-1880s. In the subsequent decade, however, anti-Chinese prejudice increased apace with increasing white settlement.

Phillip McEntee, a member of a surveying party that was determining the boundary line between the United States and British Columbia, traveled through the future Douglas County in 1877. In 1881 McEntee returned to the area and settled near present-day Coulee City (now part of Grant County) and began a cattle ranching operation. He was one of the first permanent non-Indian residents of the region.

Douglas County was carved out of Lincoln County on November 28, 1883. It is named after politician Stephen A. Douglas (1813-1861), Abraham Lincoln's (1809-1865) opponent in the 1860 presidential race. Douglas, a senator from Illinois, was the chairman of the U.S. Commission on Territories at the time Washington Territory was established.

On February 24, 1909, Grant County was partitioned out of Douglas County.


Within a few months of Douglas County's creation, sheep and cattle ranchers began establishing the stock business in the new county. Agriculture was not initially considered an option, since early settlers did not believe the soil was rich enough to produce crops. During 1886 sheep ranchers and ranchers who ran cattle clashed bitterly over grazing rights. Nature resolved the conflict in the frigid winter of 1889/1890: nearly all of Douglas County's sheep and cattle died from starvation or exposure. The livestock business slowly recovered but never again did it achieve its early prominence.

John R. Lewis successfully raised Douglas County's first wheat crop in 1884, largely as an experiment to see if growing wheat in the region was even possible. Lewis raised 10 acres and threshed the wheat by having ponies walk on the cut stalks inside a small corral. In the wake of their stock losses, many former ranchers turned to wheat farming. As of 2002 Douglas County was Washington's fifth-highest wheat producing county.

Douglas County farmers near the Chelan County border followed the lead of their Chelan neighbors who were successfully raising apples and other tree fruit in irrigated fields. They planted fruit trees in 1908 when irrigation water from Wenatchee became available. Fruit production (mainly apple, pear, and cherry) remains a major part of the Douglas County economy. Apple growers are responding to consumer trends by converting Red Delicious orchards to other varieties that in recent years have become more popular. As of 2002, Douglas County was the eighth-highest producer of both apples and sweet cherries in the nation.

In recent years some Douglas County growers, like their peers in Chelan, Grant, and Okanogan counties, have begun converting orchards into vineyards to take advantage of Washington's burgeoning wine business. Douglas County falls within the 18,000 square mile Columbia Valley appellation.

Roads and Rails

The earliest traveled routes through the future county were trails used by Indians to travel to and from the Columbia River. The first road used by early settlers was a wagon route from Ellensburg that crossed Colockum Pass to a ferry crossing the Columbia River near Wenatchee, then continued through Corbaley Canyon and across the north to another ferry crossing near what became Bridgeport. U.S. Highways 2 and 97 and State Highways 17, 28, and 172 are the main routes through Douglas County today (2006).

The Great Northern Railway laid track across southern Douglas County in 1893. The line went through Douglas rather than Waterville, spurring growth in Douglas and prompting Waterville residents to build a five-mile branch line to connect with the Great Northern at Douglas.

The Rock Island Bridge, completed in 1893, carried the Great Northern and was one of the early railroad bridges, though not the first, to span the Columbia.

The Columbia River, Dammed

Because Douglas County is nearly completely surrounded by the Columbia River, the enormous alteration brought to the Columbia by the Columbia Basin irrigation project and other Bureau of Reclamation projects have had an enormous impact on life within the county.

Four Columbia River dams touch Douglas County: Rock Island (completed in 1933), Chief Joseph (completed in 1955), Rocky Reach (completed in 1961), and Wells (completed in 1967). The construction of nearby Grand Coulee Dam (completed in 1941) also had a significant impact on Douglas County's economy. Rock Island Dam was the first hydroelectricity project on the Columbia River. Although hydroelectric power and the impact of these dams on fish populations and the natural environment have generated increasing controversy since their inception, their presence provides steady year-round employment for Douglas County residents and relatively inexpensive electrical power.

Lake Entiat, Lake Pateros, and Rufus Woods Lake are all artificial lakes created by backwater from dams. Banks Lake is an enormous 27-mile-long equalizing reservoir that fills Grand Coulee with water pumped from Lake Roosevelt, the reservoir behind Grant Coulee Dam. These lakes furnish recreational opportunities and attract tourism dollars to Douglas County.

Stephen Boise was the first settler in what would become Waterville, arriving in 1883. Howard Honor arrived the following year. A. T. Green, later known as the Father of Waterville, arrived in 1885 and purchased Stephen Boise's claim and in October 1886 platted the townsite. On November 2, 1886, Waterville became Douglas County's seat. The town was incorporated in 1890. At 2,662 feet above sea level, Waterville occupies the highest elevation of any incorporated town in the state.

Douglas County's first courthouse was completed in September of 1889. The present (2006) Douglas County Courthouse replaced it in 1905.

During the 1880s Waterville's fortunes were centered on the cattle business, but the harsh winter of 1889-1890 killed scores of cows. Thereafter, local residents planted wheat. The Waterville Rolling Mill, Douglas County's first flouring mill, opened on December 2, 1890.

In 1889 a brickyard began turning out its product in Waterville, and over the next decade brick buildings, complimentary to one another in scale and style, formed the bulk of the new town's built environment. On May 19, 1988, the Waterville Historic District (encompassing most of downtown Waterville) was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The North Central Washington District Fair, first held in 1913 as the Douglas County Fair, is held in Waterville each August. As of 2004 Waterville had approximately 1,170 residents.

East Wenatchee

Human habitation in East Wenatchee has been traced back as far as ca. 12,000 years. In 1987 bone and stone artifacts from the Paleolithic period were discovered in a local apple orchard. The find, which includes the largest spear points of Ice Age Clovis man yet discovered, catapulted East Wenatchee onto front pages and drew anthropologists eager to study the site. At the time the artifacts were discovered, scientific thinking was that these tools might have belonged to the first recorded people in what is now America. Portions of the site were excavated in 1988 and 1990. The Washington State Historical Society purchased digging rights to the site in 1992, but is not scheduled to begin excavation until 2007.

In 1908 the first highway bridge to span the Columbia River opened between Wenatchee and East Wenatchee. In addition to carrying traffic, the bridge carried two large water pipelines from the High Line Canal (now the Wenatchee Reclamation District Canal). The water carried in these pipes irrigated East Wenatchee and ushered in that community's orchard enterprises. As of 2006 this bridge continues to carry irrigation water to East Wenatchee, and the products of the area's irrigated orchards continue as a mainstay of the local economy.

East Wenatchee made the international news on October 5, 1931, when stunt pilot Clyde Edward Pangborn (1894-1958) set a world record by successfully completing the first transPacific flight from Misawa, Japan, to the United States across the Pacific Ocean. Pangborn, a Bridgeport native, and his co-pilot Hugh Herndon Jr., ended the record-setting flight by safely belly-landing his Bellanca Skyrocket, the "Miss Veedolm," in an East Wenatchee field. Clyde Pangborn Memorial Airport in East Wenatchee is named in his honor, and the "Miss Veedol" has become East Wenatchee's iconographic city symbol.

East Wenatchee in Douglas County and Wenatchee in Chelan County share the same labor market and effectively function as a single economy. East Wenatchee was incorporated in 1935.

Brewster (initially called Port Columbia) was the southern terminus for two stern-wheel steamers, City of Ellensburgh and Thomas L. Nixon. These vessels carried passengers and freight on the Columbia River between Brewster and Rock Island (south of East Wenatchee) twice weekly.

Mansfield was first settled in 1889, and was incorporated in 1911. Mansfield is named for the town of Mansfield, Ohio. During the early 1910s, Mansfield's population climbed as high as 1,000 people, but a devastating fire in 1914 that consumed the central business district and, later in the decade, falling wheat prices pared population drastically.

Now a quiet wheat-farming community with approximately 325 residents, from 1909 until the mid-1980s Mansfield was the terminus of a Great Northern Railway spur line through Moses Coulee. Mansfield's small downtown retains the brick buildings dating from post-fire rebuilding efforts in 1914.

Chinese miners seeking gold were the earliest non-Indian presence in what would become Bridgeport, arriving in the mid-1860s and camping along the banks of the Columbia River.

The community was originally known as Westfield. In 1892 a group of Connecticut investors purchased the townsite, renaming it in honor of Bridgeport, Connecticut, their hometown. Butler Liversay platted the townsite in 1891. Bridgeport, by then a thriving farm community and center for trade, was incorporated in 1910.

The Bridgeport Warehouse and Milling Company, build ca. 1900, allowed wheat farmers in northern Douglas County to mill their wheat and transport it by stern-wheel steamer rather than by wagon to be milled elsewhere. The mill declined in the wake of better road construction and the rise of the commercial trucking industry.

Chief Joseph Dam, located one mile east of Bridgeport, is the second-largest producer of hydro-electric power in the United States, and it produces irrigation water for area farmers as well. Constructed in three phases between 1949 and 1980, Chief Joseph Dam provided decades of employment for Bridgeport-area residents.

Douglas County Today

The commercial fruit business offers annual seasonal employment, attracting workers to tend and harvest apples, pears, and cherries during the growing period. Washington state considers Chelan and Douglas county agricultural employment statistics together, and as of 2000 the two counties jointly employed 10,000 seasonal workers (more than one-fifth of all county employment). Seasonal employment also means seasonal unemployment, an issue for Douglas County as for other Washington counties where agriculture is a significant employer. In 2001 Douglas County's unemployment rate average was 7.2 percent, as compared to 6 percent statewide, but the Douglas County figure swelled to more than 12 percent during seasonal layoffs. Other jobs ancillary to fruit growing include packaging, warehousing, shipping, and processing.

Nonagricultural employment has grown at a fairly steady rate since the 1970s, although the July 2001 closure of the Alcoa WenatcheeWorks aluminum smelter in Malaga (Chelan County) reduced Douglas County's pool of manufacturing jobs. Local government (primarily K-12 education), state and federal government (much of this at the dams), and silicon metal manufacturing are major employers.

We grow 'em big in Washington!

Douglas County, Washington

Douglas County courthouse, Waterville, 1910s

Sunset Highway, Pine Canyon near Waterville, ca. 1918

Lincoln Rock, along the Columbia River near East Wenatchee, 1930s

Douglas “Wrong Way” Corrigan crosses the Atlantic

Douglas Corrigan, the last of the early glory-seeking fliers, takes off from Floyd Bennett field in Brooklyn, New York, on a flight that would finally win him a place in aviation history.

Eleven years earlier, American Charles A. Lindbergh had become an international celebrity with his solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic. Corrigan was among the mechanics who had worked on Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis aircraft, but that mere footnote in the history of flight was not enough for the Texas-born aviator. In 1938, he bought a 1929 Curtiss Robin aircraft off a trash heap, rebuilt it, and modified it for long-distance flight. In July 1938, Corrigan piloted the single-engine plane nonstop from California to New York. Although the transcontinental flight was far from unprecedented, Corrigan received national attention simply because the press was amazed that his rattletrap aircraft had survived the journey.

Almost immediately after arriving in New York, he filed plans for a transatlantic flight, but aviation authorities deemed it a suicide flight, and he was promptly denied. Instead, they would allow Corrigan to fly back to the West Coast, and on July 17 he took off from Floyd Bennett field, ostentatiously pointed west. However, a few minutes later, he made a 180-degree turn and vanished into a cloudbank to the puzzlement of a few onlookers.

Twenty-eight hours later, Corrigan landed his plane in Dublin, Ireland, stepped out of his plane, and exclaimed, “Just got in from New York. Where am I?” He claimed that he lost his direction in the clouds and that his compass had malfunctioned. The authorities didn’t buy the story and suspended his license, but Corrigan stuck to it to the amusement of the public on both sides of the Atlantic. By the time “Wrong Way” Corrigan and his crated plane returned to New York by ship, his license suspension had been lifted, he was a national celebrity, and a mob of autograph seekers met him on the gangway.


The first drafts for the future DC-9 were created in 1961 as Douglas Model 2086, which already came very close to the final design and provided a wing sweep of 24 °. The fuselage cross-section corresponded to the conception of the double-circle cross-section of the Douglas DC-8 , but was smaller than this, which in the long term would prove to be a competitive disadvantage compared to the Boeing models 727 , 737 and 757 , which took over the fuselage of the 707 directly. The use of turbofan engines was planned from the start. Initially the Pratt & Whitney JTF10A-2 and the Rolls-Royce Spey were discussed . Depending on the seating, there should be space for 56 to 77 passengers. Design details were launched and published in the trade press as early as April 1962, assuming a market of 400 to 1,000 aircraft in this segment for the next ten years.

The decision to develop the aircraft, now known as the DC-9, was announced on April 9, 1963, and detailed engineering work began in July 1963. The original design was lengthened by about three meters to accommodate up to 83 Passengers seat. The first orders for the new model were Bonanza Airlines and Delta Air Lines in the summer of 1963 .

The first of a total of five prototypes took off on its maiden flight on February 25, 1965 . The take-off weight was limited to 37,400 kg so that the aircraft could be operated with a cockpit crew of only two pilots in accordance with the regulations at the time. The engines used were Pratt & Whitney JT8D 5 turbofans with a thrust of 55.6 kN . The approval by the Federal Aviation Administration took place on November 23, 1965. On December 8, 1965, the Delta Air Lines began regular service with the DC-9-10.

The successor models of the McDonnell Douglas MD-80 series , the MD-90 and finally the Boeing 717 were derived from the DC-9 . However, the official type designations in the respective type approval remained, i.e. DC-9-81, -82, -83 and -87. Only the MD-88 and the later MD-90 were officially approved under these designations.

The later type designation MD comes from the fact that Douglas merged with McDonnell in 1967 to become McDonnell Douglas . McDonnell Douglas in turn was taken over by Boeing in 1997 , which modernized the last version of the DC-9 again and sold it as the Boeing 717 .

The DC-9 family achieved a total production of 2,438 units by the time a Boeing 717 was last delivered on June 23, 2006. 976 of these were on the DC-9, 1,191 on the MD-80, 116 on the MD-90 and 155 on the 717. This makes it one of the most successful passenger aircraft.

Major operators in 2013 were Delta Air Lines (15), the US Navy (12) and USA Jet Airlines (10), and in November 2017 American Airlines (46) and Allegiant Air (39). Delta Air Lines used DC-9, which was taken over by the former Northwest Airlines . By the end of 2008, the fleet (still by Northwest) was reduced from 103 to 68 copies and has been reduced since then. The DC-9-30 was retired in October 2010, the DC-9-40 at the end of 2010. The 50-series versions remained in the fleet, but were also successively replaced and finally retired in January 2014.

William O. Douglas

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William O. Douglas, in full William Orville Douglas, (born October 16, 1898, Maine, Minnesota, U.S.—died January 19, 1980, Washington, D.C.), public official, legal educator, and associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, best known for his consistent and outspoken defense of civil liberties. His 36 1 /2 years of service on the Supreme Court constituted the longest tenure in U.S. history.

The son of a Presbyterian minister, Douglas moved with his family first to California and then to Washington. His father died when William was a small child, and his mother then settled the family in Yakima, Washington. Although Douglas contracted polio as a youth, he escaped permanent paralysis and developed what would become a lifelong love of the outdoors through his self-imposed regimen of exercise during recovery.

After graduating from Whitman College (Walla Walla, Washington) in 1920, Douglas briefly taught school. Resolving to enter law school, he worked his way across the country in 1922 and enrolled at Columbia University Law School, where he later edited the law review.

In 1925 Douglas was graduated second in his class from Columbia and shortly thereafter joined a Wall Street law firm to learn the intricacies of financial and corporate law. He left the firm one year later to teach law at Columbia, and a year after that he joined the law faculty at Yale, where he taught until 1936.

In 1934, after having worked with the Department of Commerce on bankruptcy studies, Douglas directed a study for the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on the reorganization of bankrupt corporations. He became a member of the SEC in 1936, and in 1937 he was appointed chairman of the commission. In this capacity he engineered the reorganization of the nation’s stock exchanges, instituted measures for the protection of small investors, and began government regulation of the sale of securities.

During his tenure with the SEC, Douglas became a friend and adviser of Pres. Franklin Roosevelt. When Justice Louis Brandeis retired from the Supreme Court in February 1939, Roosevelt nominated Douglas to fill the vacancy. Following his confirmation by the Senate, Douglas took his seat on April 17, 1939, becoming at 40 years of age the second youngest Supreme Court justice in U.S. history.

Although responsible for writing many of the opinions in complicated financial cases, Douglas became most famous for his pronouncements on civil liberties. Like his fellow justice and close friend Hugo Black, Douglas was an absolutist on the guarantees of freedom in the Bill of Rights. He rejected government limitations on free speech, and he was an outspoken defender of an unfettered press. His total opposition to any form of censorship made him a frequent target for criticism from political conservatives and religious fundamentalists.

Douglas also strove to ensure the protection of the constitutional rights of the criminally suspect, and he took a leading part in the court’s decisions that curbed coerced confessions, buttressed the accused’s right against self-incrimination, and strengthened prohibitions against illegal searches.

Felled by a stroke on December 31, 1974, Douglas struggled to overcome its debilitating effects and returned briefly to the bench before retiring on November 12, 1975. Throughout his judicial career Douglas remained a prolific writer, especially on conservation, history, politics, and foreign relations his books include Of Men and Mountains (1950) and A Wilderness Bill of Rights (1965).

This article was most recently revised and updated by Amy Tikkanen, Corrections Manager.


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