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Speeches Delivered by Pickering (Boxes 1-11, folders 1-253). The folders include correspondence pertaining to the speech, any rough drafts, including hand-written drafts, any drafts of the speech that were different from previous drafts, a transcript of the speech as given, and in many cases, an "official" version of the speech. If the speech were published in a journal, copies of the journal article are also included. The date span of Pickering's speeches in the collection is 1955-1975, with bulk dates of 1958-1970.
At the beginning of the collection is an index of Pickering's speech appearances from 1955 to 1968. The list is useful as a locating aid, although in some places the dates of speeches are incorrect.
Not every speech is represented with a transcript or draft. A few were repeats of speeches that Pickering had made earlier, and some had no written script. The titles of the speeches represented in the collection are noted in the folder list.
Pickering did repeat a few of his speeches to different groups. One example of this was Pickering's speech on the "Grand Tour" mission that eventually resulted in the Voyager project. The materials with the November 1969 Grand Tour speech that Pickering made for the Society of Sigma Xi included transparencies, a 1966 journal article by Gary Flandro, and several preliminary drafts of the speech. The speech was repeated at the University of Tennessee Space Institute in January 1970, and the Harvard Society of California in April 1970.
Also included in the series are transcripts of press conferences and television and radio interviews of Pickering. Two press conferences are represented, regarding Pioneer 3 in 1958 and Mariner 5 in 1967. Pickering did several interviews for American and British television, and they are represented in the series.
Several of the files contain photographs, either representing Pickering's talk or copies of slides that Pickering showed. One example is the speech "From Nebula to Man: Seeking the Ultimate Answers," given by Pickering in 1970, which includes 20 lithographs of slides used in the presentation.
Pickering did a fair amount of world travel publicizing the Lab and space exploration. On at least two occasions he traveled back to his native land of New Zealand; correspondence and documentation relating to these trips are represented in the series.
Pickering also made a few speeches in conjunction with the Apollo 11 Spacecraft and Lunar Rock Mobile Exhibit. The exhibit traveled to all the State Capitols of the continental U.S. from April 1970 to March 1971, as well as Hawaii and Alaska in April and May 1971. Exhibits on display included the Apollo 11 Command Module, a Moon rock, Apollo 11 space suits, and various art depicting the Apollo 11 mission. The NASA-sponsored display started and finished in Glendale, California. Pickering delivered speeches at Carson City, Nevada and Boise, Idaho, at the same time the exhibit was on display.
In some cases, newspaper clippings publicizing an event that Pickering spoke at are in the collection. One example of this is Pickering's speech at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, held in Chicago in December 1970. The person introducing Pickering was interrupted by hecklers, although the situation was quickly diffused. The Los Angeles Times later reported, "Youths Boo Pickering's Talk on Mars," which was a double mistake, as Pickering himself was not interrupted, and his talk was not on Mars. Pickering wrote to a USC professor that he had stayed and answered questions from dissenters for twenty minutes after the initial question period, and that apart from the initial few hecklers, the demonstrators were well behaved.
Speeches Delivered by Others (Boxes 12-15; folders 254-390). Pickering collected articles written by others and transcripts of speeches delivered by others. The span dates of the series are from 1958-1975, with a bulk date of 1963-1970.
While the bulk of the series consists of articles written by JPL personnel, Pickering also collected speeches by other people. Also included are speeches and articles written by key NASA personnel such as NASA Administrators James E. Webb, Thomas O. Paine and James C. Fletcher and NASA Deputy Administrators Robert C. Seamans and George M. Low. Caltech president Lee A. DuBridge is also represented in the series with several speeches and articles. DuBridge's successor at Caltech, Harold Brown, is also represented in the collection with a speech.
Additionally, there are several speeches regarding the space program delivered by members of Congress. These individuals include: George P. Miller, (D-CA), U.S. House 1945-73; Member, Committee on Science and Astronautics, 1959-73; Chair, 1961-73; Joseph E. Karth, (D-MN), U.S. House 1959-77; Member, Committee on Science and Astronautics, 1959-71; Chair, Subcommittee on Space Science and Applications, 1959-71; Emilio Q. Daddario (D- CT), U.S. House 1959-71; Member, Committee on Science and Astronautics; Margaret Chase Smith (R-ME), U.S. Senate 1949-73, ranking Republican on Aeronautical and Space Sciences Committee 1967-73; Walter F. Mondale (D-MN) U.S. Senate 1965-76, Vice President 1977-81; Frank E. Moss (D- UT) U.S. Senate 1959-77, Chair, Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences 1973-77; John V. Tunney (R-CA) U.S. House 1965-71; U.S. Senate 1971-77; Hubert H. Humphrey (D-MN), U.S. Senate 1949-64, 71-78; Vice President 1965-69.
Several of these speeches are in the form of testimony in the Congressional Record. One example from 1970 is testimony from James A. Van Allen of the State University of Iowa, Thomas Gold of Cornell University, and U.S. Senator Walter F. Mondale, regarding the proposed Space Shuttle.
- Jet Propulsion Laboratory (U.S.)
- Pickering, William H., -- 1910-
- Explorer 1 satellite.
- Vanguard 1 satellite.
- Mariner space probes.
- Mariner 2 space probe.
- Mariner 4 space probe.
- Ranger lunar probes.
- Ranger project.
- Ranger 7 lunar probe.
- Apollo 11 flight.
- Solar electric propulsion.
- Surveyor 5 lunar probe.
- Soviet spacecraft.
- Sputnik 1 satellite.