The Oppenheimer security hearing (1954) of the US Atomic Energy
Commission (AEC) explored the background, actions and associations of J.
Robert Oppenheimer (pictured). He had headed the Los Alamos Laboratory
during World War II, where he played a key part in the Manhattan Project
that developed the atomic bomb. Doubts about Oppenheimer's loyalty dated
back to the 1930s, when he was associated with Communist Party USA
members, including his wife and his brother. At Los Alamos and in the
AEC, he was involved in bureaucratic conflict between the Army and Air
Force over the types of nuclear weapons the country required, technical
conflict between the scientists over the feasibility of the hydrogen
bomb, and personal conflict with AEC commissioner Lewis Strauss. The
panel found that he was loyal and discreet with atomic secrets, but did
not recommend that his security clearance be reinstated. This ended his
role in government and policymaking. He became an academic exile, cut
off from his former career and the world he had helped to create. The
findings were seen as fair by some and as an expression of anti-
Communist McCarthyism by others.
Read more: <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oppenheimer_security_hearing>
Today's selected anniversaries:
King James VI of Scotland acceded to the thrones of England and
Ireland, becoming James I of England and unifying the crowns of the
kingdoms for the first time.
The last of Māori leader Titokowaru's forces surrendered to
the New Zealand government, ending his uprising.
The Tydings–McDuffie Act came into effect, which provided for
self-government of the Philippines and for Filipino independence from
the United States after a period of ten years.
The tanker Exxon Valdez spilled more than 10 million US gallons
of oil into Prince William Sound, Alaska, causing one of the most
devastating man-made environmental disasters at sea.
The co-pilot of Germanwings Flight 9525 deliberately crashed
the aircraft in a mass murder–suicide in the French Alps, killing all
150 people on board.
Wiktionary's word of the day:
The study or art of escaping from a constriction, such as a rope,
Wikiquote quote of the day:
When we estrange ourselves from history we do not enlarge, we
diminish ourselves, even as individuals. We subtract from our lives one
meaning which they do in fact possess, whether we recognize it or not.
We cannot help living in history. We can only fail to be aware of it. If
we are to meet, endure, and transcend the trials and defeats of the
future — for trials and defeats there are certain to be — it can
only be from a point of view which, seeing the future as part of the
sweep of history, enables us to establish our place in that immense
procession in which is incorporated whatever hope humankind may have.
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