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Key to success: Vision Key to success: Passion Key to success: Perseverance Key to success: Preparation Key to success: Courage Key to success: Integrity Key to success: The American Dream Keys to success homepage More quotes on Passion More quotes on Vision More quotes on Courage More quotes on Integrity More quotes on Preparation More quotes on Perseverance More quotes on The American Dream


Oprah Winfrey

Entertainment Executive

I was in the middle of an interview with a woman named Truddi Chase, who has multiple personalities and was severely abused as a child. I think it was on that day that, for the first time, I recognized that I was not to blame. I became a sexually promiscuous teenager and as a result of that got myself into a lot of trouble, and believed that I was responsible for it. It wasn't until I was 36 years old, 36, that I connected the fact, "Oh, that's why I was that way." I always blamed myself. Even though, intellectually, I would say to other kids, I would speak to people and say, "Oh, the child's never to blame. You're never responsible for molestation in your life." I still believed I was responsible somehow. That I was a bad girl -- and just released it, in the middle So it happened on the air, as so many things happen for me. It happened on the air in the middle of somebody else's experience, and I thought I was going to have a breakdown on television. And I said, "Stop! Stop! You've got to stop rolling cameras!" And they didn't, so I got myself through it, but it was really quite traumatic for me.
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Oprah Winfrey

Entertainment Executive

Oprah Winfrey: The greatest thing about what I do, for me, is that I'm in a position to change people's lives. It is the most incredible platform for influence that you could imagine, and it's something that I hold in great esteem and take full responsibility for. I mean, I do every show in prayer, not down on my knees praying, but I do it before every show - a mental meditation in order to get the correct message across. Because you're dealing with millions of people every day, and it's very easy for something to be misinterpreted, so my intention is always, regardless of what the show is -- whether it's about sibling rivalry or wife battering or children of divorce -- for people to see within each show that you are responsible for your life, that although there may be tragedy in your life, there's always a possibility to triumph. It doesn't matter who you are, where you come from. The ability to triumph begins with you. Always, always.
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Chuck Yeager

First Man to Break the Sound Barrier

Chuck Yeager: The X-1 was fun to fly, that's the way we looked at it, 'cause it was very interesting. When you do research flying, you are doing things and solving problems that no one else has been able to solve. So it was interesting to see all these things come along. The running out of elevator, that was new. All the engineers said, "Jeez, what's going on?" Then flying with the flying tail, that was something new. And it turned out pretty good, really. Actually, you really don't think about the outcome of any kind of a flight, whether it's combat, or any other kinds of flights, because you really have no control over it. And, that's the way I looked at the X-1. You don't worry about the outcome, obviously. You concentrate on what you are doing, to do the best job you can, to stay out of a serious situations. That's the way the X-1 was. When we got it above mach one without it flying apart, you can laughingly say now, "Well, I was disappointed because it didn't blow up." But that's not true. You are a little bit surprised that things didn't fly apart because that's the way you've been sort of thinking. But, when it didn't you are relieved.
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Chuck Yeager

First Man to Break the Sound Barrier

It's duty. It's just like flying combat. You know when you go on a combat mission, somebody is going to get killed, you just hope it isn't you. If it is, that's the way it goes. The same way with flying the X-1. It didn't make any difference to me whether I thought the airplane would go faster than sound. I was assigned as a test pilot on it, and it was my duty to fly it. That's the way most military pilots look at it.
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Chuck Yeager

First Man to Break the Sound Barrier

And on the fourth flight, I think it was on December 12, everything went beautiful. The drop was right on speed, and the chambers ignited when you flick the switch. The profile was beautiful. The only thing that happened, on the climb out, on all four chambers running and you're really accelerating - you fly off of a little eight ball flight indicator for attitude reference. And, you have a pressure suite, you've got filament wires in the visor of your suite. You have to keep those hot to keep your visor from fogging up. I let the airplane get up a little bit steep. I was busy regulating the pressures in the chamber to get maximum thrust out of the engine, and I got the airplane just a little bit steep, probably pushing 65 degrees angle of attack rather than 45. As I went through 60,000 feet, it began to push the airplane over. There are a lot of things that happen to an airplane mechanically up there. You have liquid oxygen in a tank and, if go to zero G, flying the parabolic curve, at zero G that oxygen cavitates because there is nothing to hold it down in the bottom of the tank. And so you have to hold about a tenth of a G on the way over. I floated right on through 70,000 feet up to 80,000 feet, which was about 10,000 feet higher. I hung on, and I'm sitting there looking as the mach meter went up to about three. And as I went through something like 2.3 mach number, man we were really smoking. We were picking up about 31 miles per hour, per second. And I watched this thing, and as we went through about 2.3 mach number, the airplane began to yaw. I said, man, something's not right. I pushed on rudder to try to get the nose back, and nothing happened, the airplane just kept yawing. Then, the outside wing, because of dihedral effect, begins coming up. Next I'm cranking on full aileron and full rudder, and nothing happens. The airplane rolled, inverted, pitched up, and when that happened, the canopy busted on it. And when that happened, the suit inflated. Then the airplane really got wound up in some snap rolls, and the data shows that we had a rotational rate of about 580 degrees per second, which is twice per second going around. And you get exposed to a lot of high Gs. Like we were getting 9 Gs positive, 2 Gs side load, 3 negative, 2 side load, 9 positive. You go through two cycles of each per second. And you really don't know what's going on other than, I figured that either the tail had come off the airplane or something had happened. So, I just pretty well rode it. You know, you see sky and ground flashing. You get rattled, but you never become unconscious. I just hung on to the airplane pretty well. The first thing that I recognized was that I came out with a tremendous inverted, negative G flat spin. Well, we spin airplanes all the time. So you recognize a characteristic airplane flat spinning, inverted. You can get it out by putting the aileron with the spin direction, and using the rudder to stop it, and make it fall through. And it did. And then the airplane flipped into a normal spin, which is an upright spin. I say normal because that's the way normally an airplane spins, upright. It flipped into a normal spin, and I just popped the nose out with the elevator and opposite rudder to stop it and recover it. And when this happened, I was down, I was about fifty miles from Rogers Dry Lake, at 25,000 feet. I was sitting there looking and the pressurization was gone out of the cockpit. Part of the canopy was gone, my suit was inflated, it had kept me alive. I looked around, I finally spotted the lake bed and turned toward it. And from the time the airplane yawed and ran out of fuel up there at 2.5 mach number, till I popped it out of the spin at 25,000 feet, was only 51 seconds. But 51 seconds, if you will look at your watch, is a long time. And so I just glided on back to the base, and landed. And that's the last flight I made in the airplane. And we never did take it above about mach two anymore.
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Chuck Yeager

First Man to Break the Sound Barrier

Chuck Yeager: I was in a dog-fight with three 190s, and I got hit head-on with a 20 mm cannon, and the prop came off the airplane, part of the wing, the canopy, and it caught on fire. So me and the airplane parted company. That's the way it happens. You bail out, you free fall in your parachute, and then when you get down to within three or four thousand feet of the ground, you pull the ripcord, the parachute pops and you land. That's about the way it happens. I picked up a few wounds. I had a couple slugs in one of my legs. I had some 20 mm fragments in my hands and a couple cuts on my head, but they were minor. So it didn't make much difference. When I landed in my parachute, we were in occupied France, and there were quite a few Germans around. Obviously, you've got to hide or they will pick you up. And, I did. I dug into the woods as deep as I could, and hid. And they never caught me. I laid out there for a day, until things quieted down, and then contacted a French farmer or a woodcutter. I couldn't speak French, but he could see I was an American flyer, because I had my flying gear on, leather jacket and flying suit. And he knew that I needed some kind of help. Fortunately, he went to the right people, instead of turning me in, got me with the resistance forces, the Maquis, who in turn took me under their wing for the next month. I worked my way down through France, finally went through the Pyrenees and into Spain in a neutral country.
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Andrew Young

Civil Rights Ambassador

We had been shopping in Albany, Georgia, and we were driving back, Jean and me, with a three-month-old baby in a bassinet in the back seat of this little Nash Rambler. We go around the curve in this little town called Doerun, Georgia, and I was going pretty fast and there were people all over the streets. I slowed down quickly, and there must have been a hundred people in sheets with their pointed hats. They didn't have their face masks on, but I turned the corner and I was in the middle of a Klan rally. I realized that they were coming to Thomasville because I had put up signs about a voter registration drive. And I expected to -- I was prepared for it -- and so I said to Jean, I said, "Look " And she's a country girl. One of the things we used to do on dates is go out in the backyard and shoot tin cans. So she was a good shot. And I said, "Look, I'm going to try to reason with these people if they come to visit us, and I want you to sit in the window and just point our rifle at the guy I'm talking to." See, I'd been to theology school and I was -- I mean, I grew up in the Second World War, where Reinhold Niebuhr and others criticized the church for being pacifist. So I wanted her to sit up there, and we were talking then about negotiating from a position of strength. So I said, "You point the gun at him, and then I can reason with him as a brother. Because if he takes me out, you take him out." And she said, "I'm not going to do that." I said, "What do you mean? What are you going to do?" She said, "I'm not going to point a gun at a human being." I said, "That's not a human being, that's the Ku Klux Klan!" She said, "Look, don't you forget it. Under that sheet is the heart of a child of God." And my idea was, "Damn, woman! What kind of woman did I marry?" And she said, "No, we're not going to point guns. We're not." She said, "If you don't believe in what you preach, we need to quit now." And so she forced me to rethink it.
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Andrew Young

Civil Rights Ambassador

There had been a civil rights movement in St. Augustine, Florida, since 1960. He sent me down to St. Augustine, early 1964, to stop the movement, because we were afraid. The Klan was very aggressive and violent down in Florida. It still is, kind of. And he didn't want there to be any retaliation. So he sent me to stop the movement. And when I got down there, and I told them -- there were a couple hundred Klansmen down in the park -- "Dr. King said we don't need to march any more, that the battle has moved to Washington. And he's afraid that any violence will make it impossible to pass a civil rights bill." But people were what we had learned to call "freedom high." And they said, "We're not waiting on Washington. We want to be free here." And so I agreed to lead them. We went down and marched down, and I thought when they saw the Klan they'd be ready to turn around. But we stopped and prayed, and I said, "Anybody " I said, "We really don't have to go down and face this kind of violence," and so we could go back to the church. And some lady started singing, "Be Not Dismayed What Ere Betide, God Will Take Care of You." And she, and everybody, said, "We want to march. We don't want the Klan to turn us around." So I had to lead them down there, and when I got there -- we were mostly women and children -- and there were a couple of hundred, mostly pretty big men, with chains and bricks and bottles.
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Andrew Young

Civil Rights Ambassador

So, to try to keep them safe, I kept them on one side of the street, and I went across the street, as was my custom, trying to reason with the Klan. And I was doing pretty good, I thought, until somebody hit me on the back of the head with a blackjack, and then somebody -- I was knocked out. And then, I didn't know what happened, but somebody picked me up and I went back, and I said, "We can't turn around now. We have to go down to the next corner." And this time, when they kicked at me and swung at me, I was able to move. And finally a policeman showed up and said, "No, let them go through." Now, 45 years later, I met that policeman. And it turned out he was a young Greek who had just come to Florida, and he was a big guy, six-six, 250, 300 pounds. And when he told the crowd to step back -- and later on his wife became the mayor -- and when I went down to make a movie about 1964, I met him. I had never seen the films of what happened to me until one of the students from Flagler College, in a project on Southern history -- turned out that her father was the police chief and she got this file footage of me getting beat up, and Martin Luther King's fingerprints where they arrested him, because later he came down and joined the march. Because there was no way of stopping it. We just had to make sure that it stayed nonviolent, which we did.
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