Building the World

August that Changed the World


Image: wikimedia commons.

It was a slow but important correspondence. On August 2, Albert Einstein wrote a letter from his home on Nassau Point, Peconic, Long Island, New York. On October 19, United States’ President Franklin D. Roosevelt sent a reply from the White House, Washington, DC, responding: “My dear Professor: I want to thank you.” The year was 1939 and atomic energy was the subject of exchange between professor and president. Consequences of the discovery were soon felt. Another August, 1946, advanced the Promethean quest. The Atomic Energy Act attempted to regulate energy of unprecedented power for purposes including “promoting world peace.” Has that goal succeeded? What can this generation do?

For the Einstein-Roosevelt letters:

For the Atomic Energy Act:

U.S. Code, Title 42, Ch. 23, “Atomic Energy Act of 1946,” also available in Building the World (2006), Volume 2, pages 491-514.

Building the World Blog by Kathleen Lusk Brooke and Zoe G Quinn is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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