To almost every speech, there is a lesser known counter-part; a secondary speech to be recited in case things don’t turn out as expected. Well, here are three such notable speeches that, had history been different, would have been very famous.
William Safir, President Nixon’s speechwriter, quickly penned a speech in case Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin failed to land on the moon and return safely. Thank goodness this speech never had to be read.
Here’s the text:
IN EVENT OF MOON DISASTER:
Fate has ordained that the men who went to the moon to explore in peace will stay on the moon to rest in peace.
These brave men, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Aldrin, know that there is no hope for their recovery. But they also know that there is hope for mankind in their sacrifice.
These two men are laying down their lives in mankind’s most noble goal: the search for truth and understanding.
They will be mourned by their families and friends; they will be mourned by their nation; they will be mourned by the people of the world; they will be mourned by a Mother Earth that dared send two of her sons into the unknown.
In their exploration, they stirred the people of the world to feel as one; in their sacrifice, they bind more tightly the brotherhood of man.
In ancient days, men looked at stars and saw their heroes in the constellations. In modern times, we do much the same, but our heroes are epic men of flesh and blood.
Others will follow, and surely find their way home. Man’s search will not be denied. But these men were the first, and they will remain the foremost in our hearts.
For every human being who looks up at the moon in the nights to come will know that there is some corner of another world that is forever mankind.
General Dwight D. Eisenhower was confident about the Normandy Invasion. As he said in his preparatory speech, “This operation is planned as a victory, and that’s the way it’s going to be. We’re going down there, and we’re throwing everything we have into it, and we’re going to make it a success,” he said. But just in case things didn’t go as planned, he prepared a brief speech: