Posts Tagged ‘Albert Einstein

05
Dec
08

On this Day, 12-5-2008: A Friendship Treaty

December 5, 1978

USSR and Afghanistan sign “friendship treaty”

In an effort to prop up an unpopular pro-Soviet regime in Afghanistan, the Soviet Union signs a “friendship treaty” with the Afghan government agreeing to provide economic and military assistance. The treaty moved the Russians another step closer to their disastrous involvement in the Afghan civil war between the Soviet-supported communist government and the Muslim rebels, the Mujahideen, which officially began in 1979.

The Soviet Union always considered the bordering nation of Afghanistan of interest to its national security. Since the 1950s, the Soviet Union worked diligently to establish close relations with its neighbor by providing economic aid and military assistance. In the 1970s matters took a dramatic turn in Afghanistan, and in April 1978, members of the Afghan Communist Party overthrew and murdered President Sardar Mohammed Daoud. Nur Mohammed Taraki, head of the Communist Party, took over and immediately declared one-party rule in Afghanistan. The regime was extremely unpopular with many Afghans so the Soviets sought to bolster it with the December 1978 treaty. The treaty established a 20-year period of “friendship and cooperation” between the Soviet Union and Afghanistan. In addition to increased economic assistance, the Soviet Union promised continued cooperation in the military field. Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev declared that the treaty marked a “qualitatively new character” of relations between the two nations.

The treaty, however, did not help Afghanistan. Taraki was overthrown and killed by members of the Afghan Communist Party who were dissatisfied with his rule in September 1979. In December, Soviet troops moved into Afghanistan and established a regime more amenable to Russian desires. Thus began what many pundits referred to as “Russia’s Vietnam,” as the Soviets poured endless amounts of money, weapons, and manpower into a seemingly endless civil war. Mikhail Gorbachev finally began the withdrawal of Russian troops nearly 10 years later.

“USSR and Afghanistan sign “friendship treaty”.” 2008. The History Channel website. 5 Dec 2008, 11:47 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2505.

On This Day

1492 – Christopher Columbus discovered Hispaniola (now Haiti).

1776 – In Williamsburg, VA, at the College of William and Mary the first scholastic fraternity in America, Phi Beta Kappa, was organized.

1792 – The trial of France’s King Louis XVI began.

1812 – Napoleon Bonaparte left his army as they were retreating from Russia.

1848 – U.S. President Polk triggered the Gold Rush of ’49 by confirming the fact that gold had been discovered in California.

1904 – The Russian fleet was destroyed by the Japanese at Port Arthur, during the Russo-Japanese War.

1932 – German physicist Albert Einstein was granted a visa making it possible for him to travel to the U.S.

1933 – Prohibition came to an end when Utah became the 36th state to ratify the 21st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

1945 – The so-called “Lost Squadron” disappeared. The five U.S. Navy Avenger bombers carrying 14 Navy flyers began a training mission at the Ft. Lauderdale Naval Air Station. They were never heard from again.

1955 – The American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations merged to form the AFL-CIO.

1979 – Sonia Johnson was formally excommunicated by the Mormon Church due to her outspoken support for the proposed Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution.

1985 – The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose above 1,500 for the first time.

1998 – James P. Hoffa became the head of the Teamsters union, 23 years after his father was the head. His father disappeared and was presumed dead.

December 5, 1941

American carrier Lexington heads to Midway

On this day, the Lexington, one of the two largest aircraft carriers employed by the United States during World War II, makes its way across the Pacific in order to carry a squadron of dive bombers to defend Midway Island from an anticipated Japanese attack.

Negotiations between the United States and Japan had been ongoing for months. Japan wanted an end to U.S. economic sanctions. The Americans wanted Japan out of China and Southeast Asia and Japan to repudiate the Tripartite “Axis” Pact with Germany and Italy before those sanctions could be lifted. Neither side was budging. President Roosevelt and Secretary of State Cordell Hull were anticipating a Japanese strike as retaliation-they just didn’t know where. The Philippines, Wake Island, Midway Island-all were possibilities. American intelligence reports had sighted the Japanese fleet movement out from Formosa (Taiwan), apparently headed for Indochina.

The U.S. State Department demanded from Japanese envoys explanations for the fleet movement across the South China Sea. The envoys claimed ignorance. Army intelligence reassured the president that, despite fears, Japan was most likely headed for Thailand-not the United States.

The Lexington never made it to Midway Island; when it learned that the Japanese fleet had, in fact, attacked Pearl Harbor, it turned back-never encountering a Japanese warship en route or employing a single aircraft in its defense. By the time it reached Hawaii, it was December 13.

“American carrier Lexington heads to Midway.” 2008. The History Channel website. 5 Dec 2008, 11:49 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6401.

On This Day in Wisconsin: December 5

1879 – Humane Society of Wisconsin Organized
On this date the Humane Society of Wisconsin was organized in Milwaukee. Inspired by Henry Bergh, a New York City philanthropist, and his Humane Movement, the state Humane Society was formed to protect both animals and children.  However, with the formation of child protection laws in the early 1900s, the Humane Society of Wisconsin began to focus primarily on animal protection. [Source: Humane Society of Wisconsin]

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11
Oct
08

On This Day, 10-11-2008: Battle of Cape Esperance

October 11, 1942

United States defeats Japanese in the Battle of Cape Esperance

On this day in 1942, the American Navy intercepts a Japanese fleet of ships on their way to reinforce troops at Guadalcanal. The Navy succeeded in its operation, sinking a majority of the ships.

The battle for Guadalcanal began in August, when the Marines landed in the first American offensive of the war. The ground fighting saw U.S. troops gain a decisive edge, wiping out detachments and regiments in brutal combat. The most effective Japanese counterstrikes came from the air and sea, with bombing raids harassing the Marines and threatening their dwindling supplies. But before the Japanese could reinforce their own ground troops, the Navy went to work.

The battle of Cape Esperance, on the northwest coast of Guadalcanal Island, commenced at night between surface ships; all Japanese reinforcements came at night, an operation nicknamed the Tokyo Express. The Navy sank one Japanese cruiser, the Furutaka, and three destroyers, while losing only one of their own destroyers. In characteristic fashion, those Japanese sailors who found themselves floundering in the water refused rescue by Americans; they preferred to be devoured by the sharks as a fate less shameful than capture.

Unfortunately, the loss of American manpower was greater than that of hardware: 48 sailors from the American destroyer Duncan were the victims of crossfire between the belligerents, and more than a hundred others died when an American cruiser turned on a searchlight to better target a Japanese ship. It also had the unintended effect of illuminating the sailors of the cruiser, making them easy targets.

The American Navy continued to harass Japanese ships trying to reinforce the Japanese position on the island; relatively few Japanese troops made it ashore. By the end of 1942, the Japanese were ready to evacuate the island–in defeat.

“United States defeats Japanese in the Battle of Cape Esperance.” 2008. The History Channel website. 11 Oct 2008, 03:55 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6614.

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On This Day

1776 – During the American Revolution the first naval battle of Lake Champlain was fought. The forces under Gen. Benedict Arnold suffered heavy losses.

1779 – Casimir Pulaski, a Polish nobleman, was killed while fighting during the Revolutionary War Battle of Savannah, GA. He was fighting for American independence.

1809 – Meriwether Lewis committed suicide along the Natchez Trace in Tennessee at an inn called Grinder’s Stand.

1881 – David Henderson Houston patented the first roll film for cameras.

1899 – The Boer War began in South Africa between the British and the Boers of the Transvaal and Orange Free State.

1939 – U.S. President Roosevelt was presented with a letter from Albert Einstein that urged him to develop the U.S. atomic program rapidly. Those letters can be found here: http://hypertextbook.com/eworld/einstein.shtml

1958 – Pioneer 1, a lunar probe, was launched by the U.S. The probe did not reach its destination and fell back to Earth and burned up in the atmosphere.

1968 – Apollo 7 was launched by the U.S. The first manned Apollo mission was the first in which live television broadcasts were received from orbit. Wally Schirra, Don Fulton Eisele and R. Walter Cunningham were the astronauts aboard.

2002 – In Cedar Grove, WI, ten people were killed when more than two dozen vehicles crashed on a foggy highway.

Einstein’s first letter to FDR

Albert Einstein
Old Grove Rd.
Nassau Point
Peconic, Long Island

August 2d, 1939*

F. D. Roosevelt
President of the United States
White House
Washington, D.C.

Sir;

Some recent work by E. Fermi and L Szilard, which has been communicated to me in manuscript, leads me to expect that the element uranium may be turned into a new and important source of energy in the immediate future. Certain aspects of the situation which has arisen seem to call for watchfulness and, if necessary, quick action on the part of the Administration. I believe therefore that it is my duty to bring to your attention the following facts and recommendations.

In the course of the last four months it has been made probable- through the work of Loiot in France as well as Fermi and Szilard in America-that it may become possible to set up a nuclear chain reaction in a large mass of uranium, by which vast amounts of power and large quantities of new radium-like elements would be generated. Now it appears almost certain that this could be achieved in the immediate future.

This new phenomenon would also lead to the construction of bombs, and it is conceivable-though much less certain-that extremely powerful bombs of a new type may thus be constructed. A single bomb of this type, carried by boat and exploded in a port, might very well destroy the whole port together with some of the surrounding territory. However, such bombs might very well prove to be too heavy for transportation by air.

The United States has only very poor ores of uranium in moderate quantities. There is some good ore in Canada and the former Czechoslovakia, while the most important source of uranium is the Belgian Congo.

In view of this situation you may think it desirable to have some permanent contact maintained between the Administration and the group of physicists working on chain reactions in America. One possible way of achieving this might be for you to entrust with this task a person who has your confidence who could perhaps serve in an unofficial capacity. His task might comprise the following:

a) to approach Government Department, keep them informed of the further development, and put forward recommendations for Government actions, giving particular attention to the problems of securing a supply of uranium ore for the United States.

b) to speed up the experimental work, which is at present being carried on within the limits of the budgets of University laboratories, by providing funds, if such funds be required, through his contacts with private persons who are willing to make contributions for this cause, and perhaps also by obtaining the co-operation of industrial laboratories which have the necessary equipment.

I understand that Germany has actually stopped the sale of uranium from the Czechoslovakian mines which she has taken over. That she should have taken such an early action might perhaps be understood on the ground that the son of the German Under- Secretary of State, von Weizacker, is attached to the Kaiser- Wilhelm-Institut in Berlin where some of the American work on uranium is now being repeated.

Your very truly, (signed) A. Einstein

http://www.ibiblio.org/pha/policy/pre-war/390802a.html

*The letter was not delivered to Roosevelt until 10-11-1939

18
Apr
08

On This Day, 4-18-08: One if By Land, Two if by Sea

Revere and Dawes warn of British attack

image

On this day in 1775, British troops march out of Boston on a mission to confiscate the American arsenal at Concord and to capture Patriot leaders Samuel Adams and John Hancock, known to be hiding at Lexington. As the British departed, Boston Patriots Paul Revere and William Dawes set out on horseback from the city to warn Adams and Hancock and rouse the Minutemen.

“Revere and Dawes warn of British attack.” 2008. The History Channel website. 18 Apr 2008, 12:21 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=467.

This story began my exploration of history.  What I remember is that I was very young and I was watching a movie on television with my parents and sister.  It began with the night the British marched out of Boston and how the warning would be relayed from the Old North Church to rebels waiting on the other side of the Charles River.  My dad repeated the signal before the TV show explained it.  I was amazed at my father’s uncanny ability to predict the TV story. 

“One if by land, two if by sea,” my father said.

I added onto his phrase because I knew my dad had been in the air force, “Three if by air.”

“No idiot!”  My sister exclaimed and my mother laughed.  “They didn’t have airplanes back then.”

Back then, I thought.  There is a difference between back then and now! 

I listened, confused, as my father explained about back then and how he knew about the signal from the American rebels.  I also knew I didn’t want to be an idiot, so I made sure to concentrate on History from that day onward, until finally, years later, graduating with a BA in History.

Allman Brothers:  Midnight Rider

1861 – Colonel Robert E. Lee turned down an offer to command the Union armies during the U.S. Civil War.

1877 – Charles Cros wrote a paper that described the process of recording and reproducing sound. In France, Cros is regarded as the inventor of the phonograph. In the U.S., Thomas Edison gets the credit.

1943 – Traveling in a bomber, Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, was shot down by American P-38 fighters.

1955 – Albert Einstein died.

1978 – The U.S. Senate approved the transfer of the Panama Canal to Panama on December 31, 1999.

1989 – Thousands of Chinese students demanding democracy tried to storm Communist Party headquarters in Beijing.

2002 – The city legislature of Berlin decided to make Marlene Dietrich an honorary citizen. Dietrich had gone to the United States in 1930. She refused to return to Germany after Adolf Hitler came to power.

 

Luther defiant at Diet of Worms

Martin Luther, the chief catalyst of Protestantism, defies the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V by refusing to recant his writings. He had been called to Worms, Germany, to appear before the Diet (assembly) of the Holy Roman Empire and answer charges of heresy.

Martin Luther was a professor of biblical interpretation at the University of Wittenberg in Germany. In 1517, he drew up his 95 theses condemning the Catholic Church for its corrupt practice of selling “indulgences,” or forgiveness of sins. Luther followed up the revolutionary work with equally controversial and groundbreaking theological works, and his fiery words set off religious reformers across Europe. In 1521, the pope excommunicated him, and he was called to appear before the emperor at the Diet of Worms to defend his beliefs. Refusing to recant or rescind his positions, Luther was declared an outlaw and a heretic. Powerful German princes protected him, however, and by his death in 1546 his ideas had significantly altered the course of Western thought.

“Luther defiant at Diet of Worms.” 2008. The History Channel website. 18 Apr 2008, 12:16 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=4930.

The Great San Francisco Earthquake

At 5:13 a.m., an earthquake estimated at close to 8.0 on the Richter scale strikes San Francisco, California, killing hundreds of people as it topples numerous buildings. The quake was caused by a slip of the San Andreas Fault over a segment about 275 miles long, and shock waves could be felt from southern Oregon down to Los Angeles.

“The Great San Francisco Earthquake.” 2008. The History Channel website. 18 Apr 2008, 12:14 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=4931.

Doolittle leads air raid on Tokyo

On this day in 1942, 16 American B-25 bombers, launched from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet 650 miles east of Japan and commanded by Lieutenant Colonel James H. Doolittle, attack the Japanese mainland.

“Doolittle leads air raid on Tokyo.” 2008. The History Channel website. 18 Apr 2008, 12:17 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6423.

Federal court decides to release Ezra Pound

A federal court rules that Ezra Pound should no longer be held at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital for the criminally insane in Washington, D.C. Pound has been held for 13 years, following his arrest in Italy during World War II on charges of treason.

“Federal court decides to release Ezra Pound.” 2008. The History Channel website. 18 Apr 2008, 12:47 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=3943.

For More on The Old North Church: http://www.oldnorth.com/

16
Mar
08

On This Day, 3-16-08: My Lai

My Lai massacre takes place in Vietnam

On this day in 1968, a platoon of American soldiers brutally kill between 200 and 500 unarmed civilians at My Lai, one of a cluster of small villages located near the northern coast of South Vietnam.

During the Vietnam War, U.S. troops frequently bombed and shelled the province of Quang Ngai, believing it to be a stronghold for forces of the National Front for the Liberation of Vietnam, or Viet Cong (VC). In March 1968, a platoon of soldiers called Charlie Company received word that Viet Cong guerrillas had taken cover in the Quang Ngai village of Son My. Led by Lieutenant William L. Calley, the platoon entered one of the village’s four hamlets, My Lai 4, on a search-and-destroy mission on the morning of March 16. Instead of guerrilla fighters, they found unarmed villagers, most of them women, children and old men.

The soldiers had been advised before the attack by army command that all who were found in My Lai could be considered VC or active VC sympathizers, and told to destroy the village. Still, they acted with extraordinary brutality, raping and torturing villagers before killing them and dragging dozens of people, including young children and babies, into a ditch and executing them with automatic weapons. The massacre reportedly ended when an Army helicopter pilot, Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson, landed his aircraft between the soldiers and the retreating villagers and threatened to open fire if they continued their attacks.

The events at My Lai were covered up by high-ranking army officers until the following March, when one soldier, Ron Ridenhour, heard of the incident secondhand and wrote about it in a letter to President Richard Nixon, the Pentagon, the State Department, the Joint Chiefs of Staff and various congressmen. The letter was largely ignored until later that year, when investigative journalist Seymour Hersh interviewed Calley and broke the story. Soon, My Lai was front-page news and an international scandal. In March 1970, an official U.S. Army inquiry board charged 14 officers, including Calley and his company commander, Captain Ernest Medina, of crimes relating to My Lai. Of that number, only Calley was convicted. Found guilty of personally killing 22 people, he was sentenced to life imprisonment. Upon appeal, his sentence was reduced to 20 years, and eventually to 10. Seen by many as a scapegoat, Calley was paroled in 1974 after serving just one-third of his sentence.

“My Lai massacre takes place in Vietnam.” 2008. The History Channel website. 15 Mar 2008, 12:37 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=52554.

1190 – The Crusaders began the massacre of Jews in York, England.

1521 – Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan reached the Philippines. He was killed the next month by natives.

1621 – Samoset walked into the settlement of Plymouth Colony, later Plymouth, MA. Samoset was a native from the Monhegan tribe in Maine who spoke English. He greeted the Pilgrims by saying, “Welcome, Englishmen! My name is Samoset.”

1802 – The U.S. Congress established the West Point Military Academy in New York.

1850 – The novel “The Scarlet Letter,” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, was published for the first time.

1883 – Susan Hayhurst graduated from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy. She was the first woman pharmacy graduate.

1926 – Physicist Robert H. Goddard launched the first liquid-fuel rocket.

1935 – Adolf Hitler ordered a German rearmament and violated the Versailles Treaty.

1939 – Germany occupied the rest of Czechoslovakia.

1964 – Paul Hornung and Alex Karras were reinstated to the NFL after an 11-month suspension for betting on football games.

1978 – Italian politician Aldo Moro was kidnapped by left-wing urban guerrillas. Moro was later murdered by the group.

1998 – Rwanda began mass trials for 1994 genocide with 125,000 suspects for 500,000 murders.

First liquid-fueled rocket

The first man to give hope to dreams of space travel is American Robert H. Goddard, who successfully launches the world’s first liquid-fueled rocket at Auburn, Massachusetts, on March 16, 1926. The rocket traveled for 2.5 seconds at a speed of about 60 mph, reaching an altitude of 41 feet and landing 184 feet away. The rocket was 10 feet tall, constructed out of thin pipes, and was fueled by liquid oxygen and gasoline.  “First liquid-fueled rocket.” 2008. The History Channel website. 15 Mar 2008, 12:44 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6838.

Goddard’s research goes largely unnoticed in the United States, however Wernher von Braun, a young German scientist, would continue Goddard’s research, developing the German V-2 rocket during World War II.  After World War II von Braun went to work for the United States, making an instrumental contribution to US efforts to land a man on the moon.

Germany during World War II developed many rocket type weapons.  Pictured below is the JB-2 (Loon) an American copy of the German V-1 surface to surface pilot-less rocket.  The V-1 rocket was used to terrorize London and later Antwerp after the Allies had landed in France and pushed toward the German border.  The second picture is a wire-guided missile dubbed the Fritz-x — officially known as Ruhrstahl SD 1400 by the Germans.  The Germans hoped to use the Fritz-x against Allied warships and developed the smaller Henschel Hs 293 for attacking merchant vessels.  The HS 293 struck a devastating blow against Allied war efforts when one missile attack sunk the HMT Rohna.  Of the 2000 military personnel on board the Rohna 1138, of which 1035 were Americans, perished.  The US military did not want the Germans to know how successful their attack had been so the story was classified “top secret” and not released to the public until 1967.  For more information about the Rohna disaster please see: http://www.rohna.org/

V-1

Missile

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.
– Albert Einstein

The story is that Albert Einstein’s driver used to sit at the back of the hall during each of his lectures, and after a period of time, remarked to Einstein that he could probably give the lecture himself, having heard it several times.
So, at the next stop on the tour, Einstein and the driver switched places, with Einstein sitting at the back, in driver’s uniform.
The driver gave the lecture, flawlessly. At the end, a member of the audience asked a detailed question about some of the subject matter, upon which the lecturer replied, ‘well, the answer to that question is quite simple, I bet that my driver, sitting up at the back, there, could answer it…’

“I want to know God’s thoughts,….. the rest are details..” — Albert Einstein

14
Mar
08

On This Day, 3-14-08: Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein born

On March 14, 1879, Albert Einstein is born, the son of a Jewish electrical engineer in Ulm, Germany. Einstein’s theories of special and general relativity drastically altered man’s view of the universe, and his work in particle and energy theory helped make possible quantum mechanics and, ultimately, the atomic bomb.

After a childhood in Germany and Italy, Einstein studied physics and mathematics at the Federal Polytechnic Academy in Zurich, Switzerland. He became a Swiss citizen and in 1905 was awarded a Ph.D. from the University of Zýrich while working at the Swiss patent office in Bern. That year, which historians of Einstein’s career call the annus mirabilis–the “miracle year”–he published five theoretical papers that were to have a profound effect on the development of modern physics.

In the first of these, titled “On a Heuristic Viewpoint Concerning the Production and Transformation of Light,” Einstein theorized that light is made up of individual quanta (photons) that demonstrate particle-like properties while collectively behaving like a wave. The hypothesis, an important step in the development of quantum theory, was arrived at through Einstein’s examination of the photoelectric effect, a phenomenon in which some solids emit electrically charged particles when struck by light. This work would later earn him the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics.

In the second paper, he devised a new method of counting and determining the size of the atoms and molecules in a given space, and in the third he offered a mathematical explanation for the constant erratic movement of particles suspended in a fluid, known as Brownian motion. These two papers provided indisputable evidence of the existence of atoms, which at the time was still disputed by a few scientists.

Einstein’s fourth groundbreaking scientific work of 1905 addressed what he termed his special theory of relativity. In special relativity, time and space are not absolute, but relative to the motion of the observer. Thus, two observers traveling at great speeds in regard to each other would not necessarily observe simultaneous events in time at the same moment, nor necessarily agree in their measurements of space. In Einstein’s theory, the speed of light, which is the limiting speed of any body having mass, is constant in all frames of reference. In the fifth paper that year, an exploration of the mathematics of special relativity, Einstein announced that mass and energy were equivalent and could be calculated with an equation, E=mc2.

Although the public was not quick to embrace his revolutionary science, Einstein was welcomed into the circle of Europe’s most eminent physicists and given professorships in Zýrich, Prague, and Berlin. In 1916, he published “The Foundation of the General Theory of Relativity,” which proposed that gravity, as well as motion, can affect the intervals of time and of space. According to Einstein, gravitation is not a force, as Isaac Newton had argued, but a curved field in the space-time continuum, created by the presence of mass. An object of very large gravitational mass, such as the sun, would therefore appear to warp space and time around it, which could be demonstrated by observing starlight as it skirted the sun on its way to earth. In 1919, astronomers studying a solar eclipse verified predictions Einstein made in the general theory of relativity, and he became an overnight celebrity. Later, other predictions of general relativity, such as a shift in the orbit of the planet Mercury and the probable existence of black holes, were confirmed by scientists.

During the next decade, Einstein made continued contributions to quantum theory and began work on a unified field theory, which he hoped would encompass quantum mechanics and his own relativity theory as a grand explanation of the workings of the universe. As a world-renowned public figure, he became increasingly political, taking up the cause of Zionism and speaking out against militarism and rearmament. In his native Germany, this made him an unpopular figure, and after Nazi leader Adolf Hitler became chancellor of Germany in 1933 Einstein renounced his German citizenship and left the country.

He later settled in the United States, where he accepted a post at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. He would remain there for the rest of his life, working on his unified field theory and relaxing by sailing on a local lake or playing his violin. He became an American citizen in 1940.

In 1939, despite his lifelong pacifist beliefs, he agreed to write to President Franklin D. Roosevelt on behalf of a group of scientists who were concerned with American inaction in the field of atomic-weapons research. Like the other scientists, he feared sole German possession of such a weapon. He played no role, however, in the subsequent Manhattan Project and later deplored the use of atomic bombs against Japan. After the war, he called for the establishment of a world government that would control nuclear technology and prevent future armed conflict.

In 1950, he published his unified field theory, which was quietly criticized as a failure. A unified explanation of gravitation, subatomic phenomena, and electromagnetism remains elusive today. Albert Einstein, one of the most creative minds in human history, died in Princeton in 1955.

“Albert Einstein born.” 2008. The History Channel website. 14 Mar 2008, 08:17 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=6836.




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