Ronald Reagan (1911–2004) was the fortieth president of the United States, serving from 1981 to 1989. Although he had been born in Illinois, he moved to California when he was twenty-six. From then on, he identified strongly with the West, ultimately buying his own ranch and enjoying horseback riding as a leisure activity. Born to an unsuccessful, alcoholic shoe salesman, Reagan valued the opportunities for wealth and success that America presented him. He identified his life history with the pioneer spirit and frontier experiences of earlier generations of Americans, so it is not surprising that he would emphasize pioneer themes in an address on America’s space program.
[U.S. President], Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States. Ronald Reagan, 1982, Book Two. Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office (1983): 892–93.
The only child of Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India, Indira Gandhi served in turn as prime minister between 1966 and 1977 and again from 1980 until her assassination in 1984. She was the third of the country’s prime ministers and the first female to hold the position. Gandhi pursued many of the same policies as her father, supported the Non-Aligned Movement, and was especially concerned to promote the interests of the women and girls her nation and of the world,. This speech, delivered to students in a women’s college, reveals her concern to combine women’s rights with India’s drive for modernization.