The Space Shuttle Challenger: 25 Years Later

More than any other media, cartoons have the ability to sum up important events into one single, powerful image, and tap into the collective mood of the country.

Some perfect examples of this are a couple of cartoons drawn in light of today’s anniversary of the space shuttle Challenger disaster, which happened 25 years ago today.

The first is drawn by Jeff Parker, the staff cartoonist at Florida Today. His paper is based on the Space Coast, and one of their main beats is covering NASA, so when it came time to remember the astranauts that were killed during this tragedy, Jeff had to feel for the collective pulse of not only the community he works and lives in, but the country at large. His tribute cartoon is simple, powerful and captures the mood of the country when thinking back on this tragic event.

space shuttle challenger NASA 25th anniversary

The second cartoon comes from Dave Granlund, and touches on the impact teacher turned astronaut Christa McAuliffe continues to have on students across the country. The Challenger accident dealt a harsh blow to America in large part because Christa inspired millions of teachers and students to tune into the launch to see her become NASA’s first teacher in space.

Christa McAuliffe Teacher space shuttle challenger NASA 25th anniversary

Cartoons can do more than entertain us. They can give us insight into world events, hold politicians accountable and as these cartoons show, tap into the mood of the country to not only remember important events, but place them into the proper historical context. All in one image.

By Daryl Cagle

Daryl Cagle is the founder and owner of Cagle Cartoons, Inc. He is one of the most widely published editorial cartoonists and is also the editor of The Cagle Post. For the past 35 years, Daryl has been one of America’s most prolific cartoonists.