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May 17, 1948 - Image 4

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1948-05-17

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THE MICHIGAN DAILY

MONDAY, MAY 17, 1949

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N JULY 16, 1945, on a desert in New Mexico, a blinding flash
ushered in the promise of a new era in our civilization.
With electric enthusiasm, we caught sight of new horizons
in medicine, sociology, and industry.
In the months that followed, there was an atmosphere of
revolution which atomic fission was supposed to create. We heard
of breath-taking cures, of a better life for all mankind, of incred-
ible scientific progress. Throughout the nation and world the
hopes of people were lifted higher and higher. Everyone was sure
that something momentous was at hand.
BUT PEOPLE who take the trouble to investigate-even now,
three years later-discover quickly that something apparently
went wrong with the prophecies.
In many places hard work is being done in an effort to harness
atomic fission for power and industry--work largely financed by
the Government for its war potential, or by industry for its profit
potential. But progress is being made at a snail's pace where it
matters most: in extracting the secrets of atomic fission for the
physical betterment of mankind. Here, in a large measure, the
atom promise remains little more than a promise.
N FEBRUARY, 1947, the Atomic Commissioner of France com-
plained that Americans, with all their facilities, genius, and
money, could quickly create an atomic bomb to destroy civiliza-
tion, but are nowhere to be found when the only thing to gain is
a better world.
In a country like this, such a challenge cannot long be ignored.
Our tradition, since the founding of the country, has been
one of getting things done. European intellectuals in the past have
reflected upon our intellectual maturity as a people; nations over-
seas that have taken our money and wanted more have accused us
of having too much; but no one has ever before accused the Amer-
ican people of shirking an important job for lack of energy, or
organization, or determination to reach an objective.
So it was destined that someone in this country would sooner or
later shoulder the responsibility of providing the necessary inspira-
tion, organization, funds, co-operation, and determination to fulfill
the humanitarian promise of atomic development.
The University of Michigan, one of the nation's greatest and
largest, and presently having the most extensive alumni organiza-

tion and widely distributed membership of any university, has
picked up the gauntlet. It has assumed an important responsibility
of leadership in getting the job done and will also join with private
and public agencies in making atomic energy the servant and not
the master of man.
To this end, the Board of Regents has approved the recom-
mendation of the War Memorial Committee that a memorial be
developed which will make a noted contribution to the well-being
of mankind. The result is a plan to be known as The Phoenix
Project-a project which symbolizes the conversion of the ravages
of war into new life and hope.
THE PHOENIX PROJECT of the University of Michigan is
planned as a continuing, working memorial of the men and women
of the University who died in World War II. It befits the purpose:
it will help accomplish at least one of the major jobs that winning
the war gave us an opportunity to do. It is committed to become
an important factor in peacetime atomic research for humanitarian
purposes: out of the horrors of the atomic bomb the men and
women of Michigan are determined to help create a force for good,
perhaps one of historic proportions.
HE PHOENIX PROJECT will consist of a memorial structure
that will symbolize the task that is being undertaken to honor
the memory of those who left the University to fight and die for
their nation. There will be laboratories in which important and
continuing work will be done. There will be a skillfully organized
information exchange which wvill be at the service of the hundreds
of specialists in various fields of medicine and science who are now
or who will be working independently toward the objectives
which, someday, we can reach. There will be facilities and meeting
places for those who wish to help direct world thinking toward
the development of all the peacetime benefits and potential benefits
of atomic fission. In time, it is hoped that the sociological, histori-
cal, legal, philosophical and ideological aspects of an atomic era
will be discussed here. In short, it will be an action-and-thought-
center for the development of atomic promises.
THE PHOENIX PROJECT is a part of the University of Michi-
gan, and it memorializes particularly a group of Michigan stu-
dents; but it is a project for everyone who believes that Americans
have a national responsibility to utilize history's greatest discovery
for the benefit rather than for the destruction of mankind.

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The 20,000 students of the University of Michigan and the 125,000 alumni have assumed the responsibility of raising
the funds necessary to make this project a practical, functioning reality. They are planning a united drive for funds,
definite plans for which will be announced at an early date. Inquiries concerning the University War Memorial should
be addressed to the Phoenix Project, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor,

I

THE PHOENIX PROJECT OF THE UNIVERSITY

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