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November 12, 1950 - Image 10

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1950-11-12

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'21 SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 1950

An Editorial---

WHEN THE IDEA for a memorial to the University's war dead
first originated, a committee of students, alumni, faculty and
regents were determined on one point-they would not add to
the blocks of marble standing on little grass plots all over the
country offering nothing more than lists of names.
For the University's war dead, the only fitting tribute was
a living memorial in keeping with the University spirit of
research and education leading ultimately to progress.
They decided to examine the other side of the Hiroshima
coin, and turn the atom, first used by man as a force of destruction,
into a force for construction. The committee agreed that a research
project concentrating on atomic energy for peacetime use not only
satisfied their idea lfor a memorial, but was a "natural" for this
University, as well as a worthwhile goal.
PHOENIX PROJECT is a "natural" for the University because
Michigan was one of the earliest and foremost contributors tor
atomic study, dating back to summer symposia on nuclear energy
in the 1920's, continuing through the war when the University
served as a principal purchasing agent for the Manhattan Project,
and reaching into the post-war period when University personnel
have studied the after-effects of atomic radiation.
And Phoenix Project is a worthwhile goal for two reasons.
First, the research will include almost every area of human
activity. Scientists think that such diseases as cancer, Leukemia
and arthritis may be cured or prevented through atom use. Indus-
%rialists are keenly interested in atomic possibilities for greater
production and new products. Farmers realize the potentials for
agricultural use of atomic energy. Social scientists are aware of.
the important effect of a new atomic era on cultural and political
relations of individuals and nations. Thus every science-physical,
biological and social-will reap the benefits of Phoenix research.
Phoenix is also a worthwhile goal because it encompasses every
part of the University. All fourteen schools, colleges and related
institutes will have a part in the project. But, in a larger sense, the
University consists of more than just its physical units. It is the
people, throughout the country, making up four groups-students,
alumni, faculty and regents-that are the University. And the
success of the Phoenix Project will rest on the united, concertedf
effort of these four groups.
s e s s
IN THE FOUR YEARS since the phoenix idea originated, sup-
port for it has come from all corners of the nation. Phoenix
committees have been established in every locality to work on the
gigantic task of raising the $6,500,000 necessary for a realization
of the idea.
Tomorrow, the campus portion of this fund-raising will
begin. From tomorrow until the end of the drive on December
8, University students will have their opportunity to support-
with more than words-the project of which they are an es-
sential part. During the drive, Phoenix committee members
will be contacting every student on campus to collect Phoenix
Apd, as the Phoenix Project is a long-range, rather than anE
over-night project, so the money you pledge is a long-range
promse. Phoenix is seeking three-year pledges, and asking that
every student set a $30 minimum as his contribution. Were this
to be collected at one time, it might seem to be an over-optimistic
figure and an over-estimation of the student pocket-book. But the
$30 contribution over three years amounts to just about 20 cents
a week-certainly very little for a Project as significant as Phoenix.1
THE WORLD SITUATION is not as bright today as it wast
when the Phoenix idea was born. Tension in Europe and Asia,t
fighting in Korea and Indo-China have increased the possibility of
another war.
But this only adds to the necessity of a program such ast
Phoenix will undertake. Perhaps the most effective way tot
shift the world from war to peace is through the developmentt
of instruments for peace. The hope of man today lies in
his ability to utilize his advanced technology for progress,
rather than for destruction.
Phoenix stands before us as a key to this progress. But its
success now and its accomplishments in the future will largely
depend on how generously you support it today.
-The Editors.
Threat to Man
(EDITOR'S NOTE: We reprint a portion of an editorial published in The
Daily August 6, 1945, the date of the bombing of Hiroshima.)
F THE WORLD were in need of a conclusive reason for the preven
tion of future wars, that reason was supplied by the disclosure of1
ie perfection of the atomic bomb by the United States and its use,
against the Japanese.

The atomic bomb, even in its preliminary stages, represents a
force of destruction that pales the havoc wrought by all previous
weapons of war. Hitler's V-bombs were bad enough, but this new'
weapon throws the robots into insignificance.
It takes little imagination to forsee the possibilities of large air
fleets loaded with these parcels of destruction, fleets which could wipe
out all living things in a large area at a single blow. Nor is it unlikely
that man, with his abilities at technical improvement, can eventually
improve the atomic principle into explosives far more powerful than'
those used against Hiroshima. This is probably only the beginning.
Harnessing the sun's energy may eventually prove tremendously
useful in constructive peacetime technology. As a source of power, it
may easily accomplish miracles hitherto only dreamed of by man.
But in the hands of an aggressor, this new discovery can be turned
into the most terrible of all weapons, aweapon which might easily
enable one nation to destroy completely another.
Those who are now formulating, and will continue to formulate,
the coming world order for peace and security should recognize this
new element of warfare and its potential threat to human life. They
should take whatever measures are necessary to secure its use for the
benefit, not the destruction, of mankind.
Presumably, only a matter of time separates knowledge of the
atomic principle from other countries of the world. Germany was ap-
proaching that knowledge at her surrenler. Only strong measures
taken now can insure the proper type of international control that
will give to the world the potential benefits of this deadly device
without leaving it as a menace to the future.

Dream Nears Reality
As Students Start Final
Phoenix Project Drive

(Continued from Page 9)
to the campus on May 17 in an
extra edition that was sent to the
homes of alumni and students
throughout the nation.
For a while the fund-raising
campaign plans were nebulous.
Plans were made for a kickoff at
the 1948 homecoming game, but
they fell flat. At that time it
was thought two million dollars
would be enough to cover the
expenses of the Project. In fact
some funds began to come in
from alumni anxious to get the
Memorial under way.
By the end of 1948, $6,400 had
been granted to University scien-
tists to carry on research with the
atom under Phoenix sponsorship.
The research grants were given
to the scientists for work in med-
icine, physics, botony and chem-
istry by Dean Sawyer, chairman
of the newly formed faculty plan-
ning committee.
* * *

most important project ever to be
undertaken by the University.
* * *
WITH THE awarding of $1,500
more in grants to University re-
searchers during the summer of
1949, the drive organization was
off to a busy season when the
school year began.
More than 400 drive officers
from all parts of the country
met here to hear of plans for
the campaign.
In October Mary Lubeck, '51,
was named chairman of the stu-
dent drive. A month later peti-
tions were being accepted from
students who wished to take part
* * *

pictured the gigantic cloud of
smoke, water and debris that
was tossed thousands of feet in
the air over Bikini during the
atom bomb tests there. It is a
$'1rperfect picture of the destruc-
tive power of the great wartime
discovery. But the atom can be
tamed for peaceful uses. It is
::..this that the Phoenix Project
hopes to do. Already the Univer-
sity has played a great part in
the development of the atom. At
left is the University's 300,000,-
000 volt "race track" synchro-
tron which is capable of pro-
ducing radiation and particles
similar to cosmic rays. The de-
vise is one of man's most valu-
able research tools. It has serv-
ed as a model for' similar ap-
paratus elsewhere. This is but
4 'one of the many contributions
the University has made in the
study of atomic energy in the
last quarter century. Under the
Phoenix Project hundreds of
other investigations will be con-
ducted in every phase of the so-
cial and physical sciences which
will harness the atom for a
peaceful life.
* * * * * "* * *
'U cientistsegn Atom Study in 1923
____ _ 4

IN THE SPRING of 1949 thei
first year's planning was finished
and the national. drive date was
set for this fall. At the same time
it was announced that Chester H.
Lang, '15, would serve as chair-
man of the national executive
committee. This threw the job of
directing the setting up of the
national campaign to him.
A few days after Lang's com-
mittee was established the Re-
gents approved plans for rais-
ing $6,500,000 for the Memorial.
Of this sum $2,000,000 was to be
spent on constructing the re-
search building with study
rooms, administrative offices,
conference and workrooms, lab-
oratories, a library and audi-
torium. In this building social
and physical scientists from the
world over are expected to gath-
er to pool their information on
the problems posed by the atom.
$4,500,000 will underwrite their
research programs as well as
pay for an administrative staff
'to coordinate and direct the
At the same time the finances
were being figured out, Lang was
dividing the country into 14 re-
gions and appointing alumni
chairmen to direct the drives in
each region.
Forrthe benefit of the students
an all campus rally was held cele-
brating the first birthday of the
idea of Phoenix. A panel discus-
sion was presented to explain the
great possibilities of peacetime
atomic research and full details
of the Project were outlined. It
was at this meeting that President
Ruthven termed the Memorial the

More than 50 faculty members
volunteered their services to travel
the country telling alumni of the
Project. President Ruthven and
Vice-Presidents Briggs and Nie-
huss toured various parts of the
nation attending alumni meetings
to explain the aims of the Me-
President Ruthven made a spe-
cial trip to confer with President
Truman, congressional and AEC
leaders. According to President
Ruthven Sen. McMahon, chair-
man of the joint atomic energy
committee pledged his support to
the Project and the President gave
his hearty approval.
AEC officials termed the Me-
morial idea "the greatest move-
ment that has yet appeared in re-
spect to the present world condi-
* * *
LAST SPRING a 50 man stu-
dent group was selected to organ-
ize the student campaign.
With the final organizational
plans completed Phoenix work-
ers were ready to start the na-
tion wide drive for contribu-
tions to the Project this fall.
The big day was 'the first of
last month. Gov. Williams, de-
claring that we must learn to live
with the atom before we can bene-
fit from its power, proclaimed Oct.
2 Atom Day throughout the state.
He urged the people of Michi-
gan to use the day as a starting
date for a continual effort to make
atomic energy work for mankind.
ATOM DAY featured more than
200 Phoenix rallies throughout the
nation. Some 60 rallies were unit-
ed by.a special telephone hook-up
and heard AEC chairman Gordon
Dean, Gen. Dwight Eisenhower,
UN delegate Warren Austin, Pres-
ident Ruthven, Sen. Ferguson,
Fritz Chrisler and Chester Lang
hail the potentialities of the Phoe-
nix Project.
Parts of the program were car-
ried on a coast-to-coast radio net-
work, and. the Voice of America
beamed the program around the
The next day 10,000 volunteer
alumni workers sprang into ac-
tion, beginning the job of contact-
ing every person who ever attend-
ed the University and telling them
of the Memorial.
And so when the student drive
opens tomorrow, it will mark the
beginning of the final phase of a
cycle which really will not be
complete until the Michigan Me-
morial Phoenix Project is in full


(Continued from Page 9)
useful in treating thyroid cancer-
and other thyroid ailments.
A second machine built by the
University to study the atom is
the 3,000,000 volt synchroton
that produces radiation and par-
ticles similar to cosmic rays.
With the outbreak of World War
II, University scientists used the
knowledge gained from the sum-
mer session and their work hereI
to makerimportant contributions
to the war effort.
. . *.
AIDED BY 25 picked scientists,
Prof. H. R. Crane of the physics
department developed the proximi-
ty fuse which is exploded by ra-
dio waves at a pre-determined dis-
tance from its target. The fuse
played an important part in aid-
ing Allied forces in Europe after
it was put into production in Jan-
uray, 1943.
University Professors S. A.
Gouldsmit, G. E. Uhlenbeck and
Dean B. McLauglin helped per-
fect still-secret radar devices,
working at MIT. Prof. W. G.
Dow worked at Harvard to de-
velop instruments to "jam" en-
emy radar stations.
Working on the important mir-
acle drug, penicillin, were Prof.
Werner E. Bachmann and Prof.
Emeritus Harrison M. Randall of
the physics department, both of
whom helped to synthesize the
** * *
ANOTHER University project
was SN7618. SN7618 is a white
drug that can stop an attack of
malaria in one-fourth the time
needed by older methods. The Un-
iversity was used as one of the
seven experimental'stations where
tests of this new drug were made,
with Dr. L. T. Goggeshall of the
Public Health School heading the
It was only to be expected that
the University would be asked
to play a major role in the de-
velopment of the atom bomb.
With the outbreak of World War
II,' the University found itself
with more than 200 secret con-
tracts with the government that
took p all or most of the time
of moe than 300 faculty mem-
Engaged in this particular type
of work were Professors Crane,
Dennison, George Brown.
Lt. General Leslie R. Groves,
who headed the Manhattan En-
gineering district where the bomb
was developed, said the Universi-
ty's role was "an important con-
tribution to the Atomic Bomb pro-
ject and contributed materially to
the successful conclusion of World
War II."
* *AHd
AFTER THE WAR ended, Ralph

Director of the Atomic Bomb Cas-
ulty Comiission of the National
Research Council, studying the af-
ter-effects of atomic bombing on
the Japanese.
* * *
PROF. G. G. BROWN, chairman
of the department of chemical and
metallurgical engineering, is now
Director of the AEC's Division of
Engineering, in which capacity he
has charge of the Commission's
program fr the "breeding" of new
atomic fuel.
Additional work by the Uni-
versity included research on
making the powerful explosive
RDX, a Navy bombsight, a pro-
cess for improving astronomical
mirrors, and giving the first cul-

tivation of protozoa on artificial
These many research programs
by the University have placed the
University at the forefront of the
nation's research institutions. An
example is a course in nuclear en-
ergy for the propulsion of aircraft
offered by the Engineering Col-
lege beginning in 1947, the first
course of its kind in the country)I
And the Phoenix Project will
enable many more University sci-
entists-both physical and social
-to take part in the study of the
atom and its potentialities.
The Memorial will keep the Uni-
versity in the first rank of atomic
research institutions, both in this
country and around the globe.

- .. his idea
-in directing the campus campaign.
By this time Prof. Hardin Jones,
of the medical physics laboratory
at the University of California,
had given the first in a series of
Phoenix sponsored talks on atomic
energy. And more and more pro-
jects were being proposed by Uni-
versity experts for the Project.
* * *
PRESIDENT Ruthven was nam-
ed national honorary chairman of
the drive by the executive commit-
tee. A national advisory commit-
tee made up of :outstanding pro-
fessional and business men to act
as counsel for the Project on
non-academic matters was set up
early this year.
And Prof. William Haber, of
the economics department, was
chosen by the executive com-
mittee to head the faculty fund
During February the Phoenix
speakers bureau was established.


Phoenix Statements
(EDITOR'S NOTE: Following are statements received by the original
Phoenix Memorial Committee after it had announced plans for the
Project. The last note is a special statement to The Daily from John
Hersey who wrote "Hiroshima" the famous description of atomic de-
March 24, 1948
War Memorial Committee
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan
The Atomic Energy Commission has learned with interest of
the proposal of the War Memorial Committee of the University of
Michigan to establish on the Michigan campus a permanent living
monument to the students, alumni and faculty of the University
who served the nation in World War II.
The aim to create an institution devoted to intensive study of
life mechanisms as they exist, together with research into the ef-
fects of atomic energy upon man and his living environment, is a
welcome addition to the research facilities of the nation. The Com-
mission applauds the lecision of the War Memorial Committee
to further knowledge in this new field and the intent to explore
the beneficial potentialities of atomic energy. From the proposed
center may come an answer to some of the urgent biological prob-
lems of today. Funds of the Atomic Energy Commission for basic
research, its fellowship program and its training facilities are plan-
ned to assist in development of programs of this broad type.
Sincerely yours,
General Manager
- ~* * **
Washington 25, D.C.
March 30, 1948
Chairman of Memorial Committee
University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Dear Dean Walter:
... We in the Office of Naval Research are interested in and
sympathetic with the idea of the formation of Research Institutes.
We believe them to be a highly efficient tool for the conduct of
both basic and applied research. One reason for this lies in the
fact that the Institute is set up in a horizontal fashion, thus afford-
ing assistance from numerous discipline of. sciences all bearing
upon a single field of endeavor.
The Medical Sciences Division of the Office of Naval Research
will be happy to render its support in any way possible toward the
organization of such a Medical Research Institute .. .
Sincerely yours,

EastHall To BeI
The site of a 62-year-old Uni- The committee
versity relic has been chosen as to have a model of
the location of the Phoenix Me- plans made up, bu
morial-symbol of a new age. against it.
Although the Phoenix Project * *
planning committee has not difi- THE INTERIOR
nitely given its approval to any
one place, its latest choice is the has not been such
ancient East Hall location, committee has al
* * -4-;+1A-<.;

erorial Site

went so far as
f one architect's
ut then decjded
of the building
a problem. The
lready accepted

"Definite action may not be
taken on the exterior set-up of the
Memorial until the fund-raising
drives are over," he said.
If the East Hall location is ac-
cepted as the final choice for the
building, it will mean that the 62-
year-old edifice will be hauled
The building was erected in 1888
by the Ann Arbor department of
schools. It was sold to the Univer-
sity a quarter of a century ago, and
has since been used by the en-
, gineering college for English
* * *

PLANS FOR on the actual Me-
morial building itself remain some-
what nebulous, although work on
them has been going on for nearly
four years.
Vice-President Marvin Niehuss
has. said that this is because
Phoenix officials are waiting for
acceptable architect's designs
for the building. He also ex-
plained that final building plans
can not be decided upon until a
final site is chosen.
"This will depend in part on
future University plans for use of
areas where we might consider
building the Memorial," he said.
"There havebeen several al-
ternate suggestions to the East
Hall location but. as yet no official
action has been taken on them."
* * *
"if everything goes as well in the
drive as we hospe" there may be
a general administrative and mon-
umental building erected on cam-
pus, probably at the East Hall site,
and possibly laboratory andn re-
search buildings elsewhere.
But whereever the building, or
buildings, are placed it is sure
that laboratories, classroms, of-
fices, a library and auditorium
will be contained.
The Memorial will serve as
meeting place for atomic scientists
from the world over. They will
gather here to pool their infor-
mation, and t work out further
development and understanding of
atomic energy together.

one 'artists drawings as tentative
plans for the interior lay-out.
"We were able to go ahead on
these floor plans because we have
a pretty fair of what we want in-
side the building," a Phoenix of-.
ficial noted.
* * *


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