20 September, 2022

John D. Hoffman

 John Drake Hoffman was an American chemist and author who was awarded the Soldier's Medal, the United States Army's highest award for an act of valor in a non-combat situation, and the only one awarded to a member of the Manhattan District. After the war he worked for the National Bureau of Standards, becoming the director of its national measurements laboratory. He was a professor and director of the engineering materials program at the University of Maryland from 1982 to 1985, director of the Michigan Molecular Institute, and a professor of materials science and engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

John Drake Hoffman was born in Washington, D.C., on November 26, 1922. He grew up in Bethesda, Maryland, and attended Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School. He entered Franklin & Marshall College in Pennsylvania, graduating with a B.S. in chemistry in 1942.

Hoffman served in the U.S. Army during World War II. In 1944, he was posted to the Special Engineer Detachment at the Clinton Engineer Works in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. In August 1944, he was one of ten enlisted men to volunteer for a dangerous special assignment: along with four civilians, they were sent to learn about a prototype liquid thermal diffusion uranium enrichment plant at the Philadelphia Navy Yard, part of the Manhattan Project's S-50 Project. This knowledge would be put to use at a larger, production plant then under construction at Oak Ridge.

On 2 September 1944, a 600-pound (270 kg) cylinder of highly corrosive uranium hexafluoride exploded. Nearby steam pipes ruptured, the steam reacting with the uranium hexafluoride to create hydrofluoric acid. Hoffman ran through the toxic cloud to rescue Private Arnold Kramish and two civilians, Peter N. Bragg Jr. (a United Naval Research Laboratory chemical engineer) and Douglas P. Meigs (a Fercleve Corporation employee). Bragg and Meigs died from their injuries but Kramish, Hoffman, and nine others recovered from burns and other injuries. Hoffman received the Soldier's Medal, the United States Army's highest award for valor in a non-combat situation, and the only one awarded to a member of the Manhattan District.

Hoffman left the army in 1946, and entered Princeton University, where he earned M.S. and Ph.D. degrees, writing his 1949 doctoral thesis on "The Dielectric Properties of Long Chain Compounds" under the supervision of Charles Phelps Smyth. He married Barbara Smith in 1949. They had three sons: James, John and Robert. After her death in 1980, he married Dolores Garcia. Through his second marriage he acquired two stepdaughters, Carol Wichers and Valerie Wichers-Calder.

After graduation, Hoffman worked at General Electric as a researcher from 1949 to 1954. He then joined the National Bureau of Standards as a research chemist. He became the chief of the Dielectrics Section in 1957, and of the Polymers Division in 1964. In 1967, he became the director of the Institute for Materials Research. Finally, in 1978, he became the Director of the National Measurement Laboratory. He retired from the Bureau of Standards in 1982. He was a professor at the University of Maryland from 1982 to 1985, and Director and CEO of the Michigan Molecular Institute from 1985 to 1990. Finally, he was professor of materials science and engineering at Johns Hopkins University. He was awarded the Department of Commerce Gold Medal in 1965, the Samuel Wesley Stratton Award of the National Bureau of Standards in 1967, and the Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Executive. He published over 60 scientific papers, but is best remembered for his 1961 work with John I. Lauritzen on Hoffman nucleation theory.

Hoffman died from congestive heart failure at George Washington University Hospital on February 21, 2004.

18 October, 2019

Thomas J. Dodd

Thomas Joseph Dodd was a United States Senator and Representative from Connecticut, He is the father of former U.S. Senator Christopher Dodd and Thomas J. Dodd, Jr., who served as the United States Ambassador to Uruguay from 1993 to 1997 and to Costa Rica from 1997 to 2001.

Dodd was born in Norwich, New London County, to Abigail Margaret (née O'Sullivan) and Thomas Joseph Dodd, a building contractor; all four of his grandparents were immigrants from Ireland. His paternal grandparents were farmers in the Housatonic river valley with large commercial tobacco leaf farms located near Kent and New Milford. He graduated from Saint Anselm College's preparatory school, run by Benedictine monks in Goffstown, New Hampshire, in 1926. He graduated from Providence College in 1930 with a degree in philosophy, and from Yale Law School in 1933. In 1934, Dodd married Grace Murphy of Westerly, Rhode Island. They had six children.

He served as a special agent for the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 1933 and 1934, the highlight of his career there being his participation in an unsuccessful attempt to capture John Dillinger at Little Bohemia Lodge. He was then Connecticut director of the National Youth Administration from 1935 to 1938. He was assistant to five successive United States Attorneys General (Homer Cummings, Frank Murphy, Robert Jackson, Francis Biddle and Tom Clark) from 1938 to 1945.

As a special agent for the Attorney General, Dodd was basically a trial-level federal prosecutor. He worked primarily on criminal and civil liberties cases, including the prosecution of the Ku Klux Klan in the 1930s. In 1942, he was sent to Hartford to prosecute a major spy ring case in which five men (Anastasy Vonsyatsky, Wilhelm Kunze, and others) were accused of violating the Espionage Act of 1917 by conspiring to gather and deliver US Army, Navy, and defense information to Germany or Japan. Four of the five pleaded guilty; Dodd tried and won the conviction of the fifth man, Reverend Kurt Emil Bruno Molzahn.

Dodd became vice chairman of the Board of Review and later executive trial counsel for the Office of the United States Chief of Counsel for the Prosecution of Axis Criminality at Nuremberg, Germany, in 1945 and 1946. He practiced law privately in Hartford, Connecticut, from 1947 to 1953.

Both Supreme Court Justice Robert H. Jackson, chief prosecutor for the U.S., and Dodd insisted upon a fair and legal trial to prosecute the Nazi war criminals. Dodd accepted Jackson's offer to join him in Germany. Dodd expected the position to last only several months, but he wound up spending 15 months there. Dodd suggested Heidelberg as the location for the International Military Tribunal, since it had survived the war almost completely unscathed, but Nuremberg was eventually chosen. In October 1945, Jackson named Dodd to his senior Trial Board for the Nuremberg Trials, and later in 1946, named him Executive Trial Counsel, putting him in the number-two position at the trials. In the summer of 1946, Jackson appointed Dodd as the acting Chief of Counsel while he returned to DC. Dodd finally returned to the U.S. in October 1946. He described the delegation as "an autopsy on history's most horrible catalogue of human crime."

Dodd cross-examined defendants Wilhelm Keitel, Alfred Rosenberg, Hans Frank, Walther Funk, Baldur von Schirach, Fritz Sauckel and Arthur Seyss-Inquart. In addition to cross-examining, Dodd drafted indictments against the defendants, showed films of concentration camps, provided evidence of slave labor programs, and presented evidence of economic preparations by the Nazis for an aggressive war.

Dodd showed through his evidence that Erich Koch, the Reichkommissioner for the Ukraine and defendant Hans Frank, the Governor-General of Poland were responsible for the plan to deport one million Poles for slave labor. Dodd also showed evidence that defendant Walther Funk turned the Reichsbank into a depository for gold teeth and other valuables seized from the concentration camp victims. Dodd showed a motion picture of the vaults in Frankfurt where Allied troops found cases of these valuables, containing dentures, earrings, silverware and candelabra. Dodd showed many gruesome items of evidence, such as a shrunken, stuffed and preserved human head of one of the concentration camp victims that had been used as a paperweight by the commandant of Buchenwald Concentration Camp.

Final pleas were made on August 31, 1946, and the Tribunal announced its judgment in September 1946. Dodd assisted the Allied prosecuting team of convicting all but three of the defendants.[5] All but one of the defendants had claimed innocence, including Hermann Göring, whom Dodd had charged with ordering Reinhard Heydrich to set the Holocaust in motion.[12] In addition to prosecuting the individual defendants, Dodd demanded in his summation to the Tribunal that all six of the indicted Nazi organizations be convicted of crimes against humanity, on the same grounds of the crimes against humanity ascribed to the individual defendants. These six organizations are the Leadership Corps, the Reich cabinet, the Gestapo, The Storm Troops (SA), the Armed Forces, and the Elite Guard (SS). Dodd said that these organizations should not escape liability on the grounds that they were too large, part of a political party, etc.

Dodd was given several awards in recognition of his work at the Nuremberg trials. Jackson awarded him the Medal of Freedom in July 1946 and President Harry Truman awarded him the Certificate of Merit, which Jackson personally delivered to him in Hartford in the fall of 1946. Dodd also received the Czechoslovak Order of the White Lion. In 1949, the Polish government had intended to award Dodd with a badge of honor called the Officer's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta, but Dodd rejected the medal due to his commitment to human rights and views that the Polish government was imposing a tyranny like that imposed by the Nazis, and accepting an honor from the President of Poland would be like accepting one from the Nazis.

Dodd was elected as a Democrat to the House of Representatives in 1952, and served two terms. He lost a Senate election in 1956 to Prescott S. Bush, but was elected in 1958 to Connecticut's other Senate seat and then re-elected in 1964.

Before becoming a U.S. senator, Dodd was hired to lobby for Guatemala in the United States for $50,000 a year by dictator Carlos Castillo Armas. According to the North American Congress on Latin America, Dodd "had perhaps the coziest relationship with the Castillo Armas government." After a short trip to Guatemala in 1955, Dodd urged the House of Representatives to increase aid to the Central American country. Dodd's amendment passed, and Guatemala received $15 million of US aid in 1956. Dodd was unapologetic when criticized for his lobbying efforts on behalf of the Guatemalan dictatorship. When a Republican organizer challenged Dodd on his lobbying, Dodd stated "I am a practicing attorney and I am proud of the fact that the anti-communist government of Guatemala has asked me to handle its legal affairs in the US. Of course, I will not represent the government of Guatemala or any other private client if I am elected to the Senate."

In 1961, Dodd visited the Congo to investigate the civil war caused by the secession of the province of Katanga. In addition to his work in the Congo Senator Dodd opened what became nearly three years of intermittent hearings. The results of the three-committee staff monitoring reports of television content in 1954, 1961, and 1964 showed incidents of violence. Senator Dodd and Estes Kefauver are the two men responsible for informing the public of the effects of violence on juveniles.

In the fall of 1965, Dodd tried to get Martin Luther King, Jr. arrested for violating the Logan Act. As chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Juvenile Delinquency, Dodd worked to restrict the purchase of mail order handguns, and later shotguns and rifles. These efforts culminated in the Gun Control Act of 1968, which Dodd introduced, including certain registration requirements.

Dodd played an instrumental role in the prohibition of LSD in the United States, presiding over subcommittee hearings purportedly investigating the drug's effects on youth. Notably, Harvard psychologist and LSD proponent Timothy Leary was called to testify. Despite that Leary urged lawmakers to enact a strictly regulated framework where LSD would remain legal, Dodd and his colleagues drafted a ban which was later adopted. This event was one episode in the prelude towards an all-out "War on Drugs" in the 1970s.

In 1967 Dodd became the first Senator censured by the US Senate since Joseph McCarthy in 1954, and was one of only six people censured by the Senate in the 20th century. The resulting censure was a condemnation and finding that he had converted campaign funds to his personal accounts and spent the money. Beyond the Senate Ethics Committee's formal disciplinary action, other sources (such as investigative journalist Drew Pearson and Jack Anderson's Congress in Crisis) suggest Dodd's corruption was far broader in scope, and there were accusations of alcoholism. In response to these accusations, Dodd filed a lawsuit against Pearson claiming that Pearson had illegally interfered with his private property. Although the district court granted a partial judgment to Dodd, the appellate court ruled in favor of Pearson because Dodd's property had not been physically abused.

In 1970, the Democrats endorsed for his seat Joseph Duffey, who won the nomination in the primary. Dodd then entered the race as an independent, taking just under a quarter of the vote, in a three-way race which he and Duffey lost to Republican Lowell Weicker. Dodd finished third, with 266,500 votes–far exceeding Weicker's 86,600-vote margin over Duffey. Months after his defeat, Dodd died from a heart attack at his home.

Stephen J. Cannell

Stephen Joseph Cannell was an American television producer, writer, novelist, and occasional actor, and the founder of Cannell Entertainment (formerly Stephen J. Cannell Productions) and the Cannell Studios.

After starting his career as a television script writer, Cannell created or co-created several dozen successful TV series from the 1970s to the 1990s, often with his creative partner Frank Lupo. Cannell's creations included The Rockford Files, The A-Team, The Greatest American Hero, 21 Jump Street, and The Commish. He also wrote novels, notably the Shane Scully mystery series.

Sir Isaiah Berlin

Sir Isaiah Berlin was a Russian British social and political theorist, philosopher and historian of ideas.

Berlin was born on 6 June 1909, he was the only surviving child of a wealthy Jewish family, the son of Mendel Berlin, a timber trader (and a direct descendant of Shneur Zalman, founder of Chabad Hasidism), and his wife Marie, née Volshonok. His family owned a timber company, one of the largest in the Baltics, as well as forests in Russia, from where the timber was floated down the Daugava river to its sawmills in Riga. As his father, who was the head of the Riga Association of Timber Merchants, worked for the company in its dealings with Western companies, he was fluent not only in Yiddish, Russian and German, but also French and English. His Russian-speaking mother, Marie (Musya) Volshonok, was also fluent in Yiddish and Latvian. Isaiah Berlin spent his first six years in Riga, and later lived in Andreapol (a small timber town near Pskov, effectively owned by the family business) and Petrograd (now St Petersburg). In Petrograd, the family lived first on Vasilevsky Island and then on Angliiskii Prospekt on the mainland. On Angliiskii Prospekt, they shared their building with other tenants, including Rimsky-Korsakov's daughter, an assistant Minister of Finnish affairs and Princess Emeretinsky. With the onset of the October Revolution of 1917, the fortunes of the building's tenants were rapidly reversed, with both the Princess Emeretinsky and Rimsky-Korsakov's daughter soon being made to stoke the building's stoves and sweep the yards. Berlin witnessed the February and October Revolutions both from his apartment windows and from walks in the city with his governess, where he recalled the crowds of protesters marching on the Winter Palace Square.

Feeling increasingly oppressed by life under Bolshevik rule where the family was identified as bourgeoisie, the family left Petrograd, on 5 October 1920, for Riga, but encounters with anti-Semitism and difficulties with the Latvian authorities convinced them to leave, and they moved to Britain in early 1921 (Mendel in January, Isaiah and Marie at the beginning of February), when Berlin was eleven. In London, the family first stayed in Surbiton where he was sent to Arundel House for preparatory school, then within the year they bought a house in Kensington, and six years later in Hampstead.

Berlin's native language was Russian, and his English was virtually nonexistent at first, but he reached proficiency in English within a year at around the age of 12. In addition to Russian and English, Berlin was fluent in French, German and Italian, and knew Hebrew, Latin, and Ancient Greek. Despite his fluency in English, however, in later life Berlin's Oxford English accent would sound increasingly Russian in its vowel sounds. Whenever he was described as an English philosopher, Berlin always insisted that he was not an English philosopher, but would forever be a Russian Jew: "I am a Russian Jew from Riga, and all my years in England cannot change this. I love England, I have been well treated here, and I cherish many things about English life, but I am a Russian Jew; that is how I was born and that is who I will be to the end of my life."

After being educated at St Paul's School in London, Berlin applied to Balliol College, Oxford, but was denied admission after a chaotic interview. Berlin decided to apply again, only to a different college: Corpus Christi College, Oxford. Berlin was admitted and commenced his literae humaniores degree. He graduated in 1928, taking first-class honours in his final examinations and winning the John Locke Prize for his performance in the philosophy papers, in which he outscored A. J. Ayer. He subsequently took another degree at Oxford in philosophy, politics and economics, again taking first-class honours after less than a year on the course. He was appointed a tutor in philosophy at New College, Oxford, and soon afterwards was elected to a prize fellowship at All Souls College, Oxford, the first unconverted Jew to achieve this fellowship at All Souls.

While still a student, he befriended Ayer (with whom he was to share a lifelong amicable rivalry), Stuart Hampshire, Richard Wollheim, Maurice Bowra, Stephen Spender, Inez Pearn, J. L. Austin and Nicolas Nabokov. In 1940, he presented a philosophical paper on other minds to a meeting attended by Ludwig Wittgenstein at Cambridge University. Wittgenstein rejected the argument of his paper in discussion but praised Berlin for his intellectual honesty and integrity. Berlin was to remain at Oxford for the rest of his life, apart from a period working for British Information Services in New York from 1940 to 1942, and for the British embassies in Washington, DC, and Moscow from then until 1946. Prior to this service, however, Berlin was barred from participation in the British war effort as a result of his being born in Latvia, and because his left arm had been damaged at birth. In April 1943 he wrote a confidential analysis of members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee for the Foreign Office; he described Senator Arthur Capper from Kansas as a solid, stolid, 78-year-old reactionary from the corn belt, who is the very voice of Mid-Western "grass root" isolationism. For his services, he was appointed a CBE in the 1946 New Year Honours. Meetings with Anna Akhmatova in Leningrad in November 1945 and January 1946 had a powerful effect on both of them, and serious repercussions for Akhmatova (who immortalised the meetings in her poetry).

In 1956 Berlin married Aline Halban, née de Gunzbourg (1915–2014) who was the former wife of an Oxford colleague and a former winner of the ladies' golf championship of France. She was from an exiled half Russian-aristocratic and half ennobled-Jewish banking and petroleum family (her mother was Yvonne Deutsch de la Meurthe, granddaughter of Henri Deutsch de la Meurthe) based in Paris.

He was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1959. He was instrumental in the founding, in 1966, of a new graduate college at Oxford University: Wolfson College. The college was founded to be a centre of academic excellence which, unlike many other colleges at Oxford, would also be based on a strong egalitarian and democratic ethos. Berlin was a member of the Founding Council of the Rothermere American Institute at Oxford University. As later revealed, when he was asked to evaluate the academic credentials of Isaac Deutscher, Isaiah Berlin argued against a promotion, because of the profoundly pro-communist militancy of the candidate.

Berlin died in Oxford on 5 November 1997, aged 88. He is buried there in Wolvercote Cemetery.

Cecil Aldin

Cecil Charles Windsor Aldin was a British artist and illustrator best known for his paintings and sketches of animals, sports, and rural life. Aldin executed village scenes and rural buildings in chalk, pencil and wash sketching. He was an enthusiastic sportsman and a Master of Fox Hounds, and many of his pictures illustrated hunting.

Born in Slough, Aldin was educated at Eastbourne College and Solihull Grammar School. Cecil Aldin's father, a builder, was a keen amateur artist so Cecil started drawing at a very young age. He studied art at the studio of Albert Joseph Moore in Kensington but, unhappy with the teaching methods Aldin left after a month to study animal anatomy at the National Art Training School in South Kensington. After this he attended a summer school run by the animal painter and teacher, William Frank Calderon at Midhurst, Sussex. Aldin left when he developed rheumatic fever but shortly afterwards he sold his first drawing, which appeared in The Building News of 12 September 1890. This was followed by a dog show picture purchased by The Graphic in 1891. He rented a studio in Chelsea and in 1892 he began a long association with The Illustrated London News. Whilst at Chelsea he would often draw in the London Zoological Gardens and an early work on a tiger in the zoo which was drawn from life was found to be a copyright of a photograph by Gambier Bolton. Aldin was commissioned by The Pall Mall Budget in 1894 to illustrate the serialization of stories from Rudyard Kipling's The Second Jungle Book.

At the invitation of the fine genre painter, Walter Dendy Sadler Aldin stayed at Chiddingstone where he made close friends with Phil May, John Hassall and Lance Thackeray and along with them, Dudley Hardy and Tom Browne, founded the London Sketch Club. The birth of his son and daughter inspired a series of nursery pictures which together with his large sets of the Fallowfield Hunt, Bluemarket Races, Harefield Harriers and Cottesbrook Hunt prints brought him much popularity. This was enhanced by his ever-expanding book and magazine illustrative work. He joined the Chelsea Arts Club and held his first exhibition in Paris in 1908. An exhibition in Paris in 1909 was received with much acclaim and extended his fame to a wider audience. He illustrated the 1910 edition of Charles Dickens' The Pickwick Papers. A popular book by Aldin was Sleeping Partners, a sequence of pastel drawings of his dogs on a couch. It included his Irish Wolfhound Micky, a puppy he purchased from Florence Nagle as a gift for his wife, and his favorite model, Cracker, a Bull Terrier with a dark patch over one eye. Aldin moved to the Henley area as his interest in hunting, horses and dogs increased and in 1910 he became Master of the South Berkshire Hunt as well as being associated with other local packs. He lived at The Abbots, Sulhamstead Abbots from 1913 to 1914 and was church warden of St Mary's church.

At the outbreak of the First World War Aldin was the sole Master of the South Berkshire Foxhounds and became a Remount Purchasing Officer in charge of an Army Remount Depot. Many other artists, including Lionel Edwards, Alfred Munnings G.D. Armour and Cedric Morris, also worked in Remount Depots during the War. Such was the military demand for horses Aldins' own mounts were among the first to be given up to the Army. Aldin set up many Remount Depots around Berkshire including, as an experiment, one run entirely by women as there were no longer enough men available for the work. The experiment was deemed successful and many Ladies' Army Remount Depots were established. This brought Aldin to the attention of the Women's Work Sub-Committee of the newly formed Imperial War Museum who, in February 1919, asked to purchase two of his wartime paintings. Women Employed in the Remount Depot, The Kennels, Pangbourne was duly purchased but Aldin was unwilling to release the second picture requested. The original of A Land Girl Ploughing, a realistic portrayal of a lone Land Girl guiding two large horses, had been done on old, re-used canvas using leftover scene paint and, in Aldin's view, was not suitable for a national collection. He agreed to replicate the painting with better quality materials and a member of the Women's Land Army was sent to his studio in Pangbourne to model as the plough girl, and ensure all the details of the uniform were correct. The painting is considered among the most iconic images of the work of the Women's Land Army from World War One. Aldin lost his son, Dudley at Vimy Ridge in 1917, which affected him deeply for many years and had a profound effect on his style of work.

After the war Aldin spent much of his time organizing pony and dog shows, particularly in Exmoor, where he followed the Devon and Somerset Staghounds. He continued to paint, often large equestrian portraits and completed numerous magazine and book illustrations. In the 1920s he added further prints of hunting scenes to create a series of "The Hunting Countries" as well as concentrating on his popular studies of his own and visiting dogs. He published a short series of fully illustrated books in 1923, Old Manor Houses and Old Inns. A series of prints depicting Old Inns, Old Manor Houses and Cathedrals was also created.

In 1930 Aldin retired to live in the Balearic Islands, hoping the warmer climate would ease his arthritis. He lived in Palma and elsewhere on Mallorca while continuing to paint and etch, producing some of his best work, including illustrations for The Bunch Book (1932), about Bunch, a Sealyham Terrier by James Douglas. Travelling back to England for a visit in January 1935 he suffered a heart attack whilst still at sea. When his ship docked, Aldin was rushed to the London Clinic but could not be saved.

Sir Clough Williams-Ellis

Sir Bertram Clough Williams-Ellis was a British architect known chiefly as the creator of the Italianate village of Portmeirion in North Wales.

Clough Williams-Ellis was born in Gayton, Northamptonshire, England, but his family moved back to his father's native North Wales when he was four. The family have strong Welsh roots and Clough Williams-Ellis claimed direct descent from Owain Gwynedd, Prince of North Wales. His father John Clough Williams Ellis (1833-1913) was a clergyman and noted mountaineer while his mother Ellen Mabel Greaves (1851-1941) was the daughter of the slate mine proprietor John Whitehead Greaves and sister of John Ernest Greaves.

He was educated at Oundle School in Northamptonshire. Though he read for the natural sciences tripos at Trinity College, Cambridge, he never graduated. After a few months at the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London in 1903–04 (which he located by looking up "Architecture" in the London telephone directory), he worked for an architect for a few months before setting up his own practice in London. His first commission was probably Larkbeare, a summer house for Anne Wynne Thackeray in Cumnor, Oxfordshire, in 1903-4 (finished 1907) which he designed whilst a student.

In 1908 he inherited a small country house, Plas Brondanw, from his father, restoring and embellishing it over the rest of his life, and rebuilding it after a fire in 1951. He served with distinction in the First World War, serving first with the Royal Fusiliers and then the Welsh Guards attached to the Tank Corps, with whom he was awarded the Military Cross in the 1918 New Year Honours.

After the war, he helped John St Loe Strachey (who became his father in law) revive pisé construction in Britain, building an apple storehouse followed by Harrowhill Copse bungalow at Newlands Corner (photos) using shuttering and rammed earth. During the 1920s, he began work on Portmeirion, later the location for The Prisoner (1967–68) TV series.

A fashionable architect in the inter-war years, Williams-Ellis's other works include buildings at Stowe in Buckinghamshire; groups of cottages at Cornwell, Oxfordshire; Tattenhall in Cheshire; and Cushendun, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. Williams-Ellis is also known for his design (in the 1930s) of the former summit building on Snowdon, which — after unsympathetic alteration in the 1960s and a long-term lack of maintenance — was described by Prince Charles as "the highest slum in Wales".

During this period Williams-Ellis wrote his book England and the Octopus (published in 1928); its outcry at the urbanization of the countryside and loss of village cohesion inspired a group of young women to form Ferguson's Gang. They took up Williams-Ellis's call for action and from 1927 to 1946 were active in rescuing important, but lesser-known, rural properties from being demolished. Shalford Mill in Surrey, Newtown Old Town Hall on the Isle of Wight and Priory Cottages in Oxfordshire were all successfully saved due to the Gang's fundraising efforts. The Gang endowed these properties and significant tracts of the Cornish coastline to the care of the National Trust. The Gang's mastermind Peggy Pollard and Williams-Ellis became lifelong friends.

Williams-Ellis served on several government committees concerned with design and conservation and was instrumental in setting up the British national parks after 1945. He wrote and broadcast extensively on architecture, design and the preservation of the rural landscape.

In 1915 Williams-Ellis married the writer Amabel Strachey. Their son, Christopher Moelwyn Strachey Williams-Ellis (1923-13 March 1944), a Lieutenant in the Welsh Guards, was killed in action in Italy during the Second World War and was buried in plot VIII, row C, grave 24 at Minturno War Cemetery. Their elder daughter, Susan Williams-Ellis, used the name Portmeirion Pottery for the company she created with her husband in 1961.

In 1958 Williams-Ellis was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire "for public services." He was made a Knight Bachelor in the New Year Honours 1972 "for services to the preservation of the environment and to architecture." At the time, he was the oldest person ever to be knighted.

Sir Clough Williams-Ellis died in April 1978, aged 94. In accordance with his wishes, he was cremated, and his ashes went to make up a marine rocket, which was part of a New Year's Eve firework display over the estuary at Portmeirion some twenty years after his death.

17 July, 2019

Smokey Yunick

Henry "Smokey" Yunick was an American mechanic and car designer associated with motorsports. Yunick was deeply involved in the early years of NASCAR, and he is probably most associated with that racing genre. He participated as a racer, designer, and held other jobs related to the sport, but was best known as a mechanic, builder, and crew chief.

Yunick was twice NASCAR mechanic of the year; and his teams would include 50 of the most famous drivers in the sport, winning 57 NASCAR Cup Series races, including two championships in 1951 and 1953.

He was renowned as an opinionated character who "was about as good as there ever was on engines", according to Marvin Panch, who drove stock cars for Yunick and won the 1961 Daytona 500. His trademark white uniform and battered cowboy hat, together with a cigar or pipe, were a familiar sight in the pits of almost every NASCAR or Indianapolis 500 race for over twenty years. During the 1980s, he wrote a technical column, "Track Tech", for Circle Track magazine. In 1990, he was inducted into the International Motorsports Hall of Fame.

23 May, 2019

Walter Knight-Adkin

The Very Reverend Walter Kenrick Knight-Adkin was an eminent Anglican priest.

Born in Cheltenham, Knight-Adkin was educated at Cheltenham College and St Edmund Hall, Oxford. He did his pastoral training at Wells Theological College. Ordained in June 1908 at St Paul's Cathedral in London, he was a Curate at Kentish Town before commencing a long period of service as a Chaplain with the Royal Navy rising to become Chaplain of the Fleet from 1929 to 1933, after which he was Dean of Gibraltar. Evacuated to England in 1941 due to illness, he became civilian Vicar of Sparkwell then Chaplain to the Lord Mayor of Bristol at St Mark`s Church, College Green.

He was awarded the OBE in 1919 and appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath in 1932. On January 25, 1929 he was appointed as Honorary Chaplain to HM King George V. He was an Honorary Canon of Portsmouth Cathedral and was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of Gloucester and of Bristol on 3 June 1950.

Knight-Adkin was the second son of the Rev Harry Kenrick Knight-Adkin (1851–1928) and Georgina Elizabeth Knight (1849–1930). He was born in Cheltenham on August 17, 1880.

He married Elizabeth Cuff Napier (1891–1984) at St. Andrew's-by-the-Green, Glasgow on December  20, 1915. His bride was the daughter of Colonel Alexander Napier RAMC. They had one child, Peter Napier Knight-Adkin, who died at Portsmouth in 1918.

Walter died at his home on May 24, 1957.

10 May, 2019

Joachim Fuchsberger

Joachim "Blacky" Fuchsberger was a German actor and television host, best known to a wide German-speaking audience as one of the recurring actors in various Edgar Wallace movies. In the English-speaking world, he was sometimes credited as Akim Berg or Berger.

Fuchsberger was born in Zuffenhausen, today a district of Stuttgart, and was a member of the obligatory Hitler Youth. During World War II, at the age of 16, he was trained as a Fallschirmjäger, combat instructor and sent to the Eastern Front where he was wounded. He was captured in a hospital in Stralsund by the Red Army and came into Soviet captivity and later in American and British captivity. Because of this turbulent time of his youth on the Eastern front, he could never make a school diploma. In 1946, he worked as a coal miner for the British in Recklinghausen. His nickname Blacky hails from that time.

After his release, he worked as an engineer for typesetting and printing machines in the family business and later in a publishing house in Düsseldorf. In 1949, he was advertising manager of the German Building Exhibition in Nuremberg. From 1950 to 1952, he was spokesman at the radio station in Munich and newsreel spokesman. In 1951, he married the pop singer Gitta Lind, from whom he divorced after two years. In 1954 he married the radio technician and actress Gundula Korte (born 24 March 1930), with whom he has a son. In the same year he had his breakthrough playing "Gunner Asch" in the three-part war film 08/15 film series, based on the novel by Hans Hellmut Kirst.

After several war films, he starred in the 1959 film Der Frosch mit der Maske (The Frog with the Mask) playing amateur detective Richard Gordon. More than 3.2 million visitors saw the movie in the cinema. The surprising success laid the foundation for many other film adaptations of novels by Edgar Wallace.

After this success, he played the detective in another 12 Edgar Wallace films: 1960 – Chief Inspector Long in Die Bande des Schreckens (The Gang of Horror); 1961 – Inspector Larry Holt in The Dead Eyes of London; 1961 – Insurance Agent Jack Tarling in The Devil's Daffodil; 1961 – Inspector Mike Dorn in The Strange Countess; 1962 – Inspector Wade in The Inn on the River; 1963 – Clifford Lynne in Der Fluch der gelben Schlange [de] (The Curse of the Yellow Snake); 1963 – Estate manager Dick Alford in The Black Abbot; 1964 – Investigator Johnny Gray in Zimmer 13 [de] (Room 13); 1964 – Inspector Higgins in Der Hexer (The Warlock); 1967 – Inspector Higgins in Der Mönch mit der Peitsche [de] (The Monk with the Whip); 1968 – Inspector Higgins in Im Banne des Unheimlichen (Under the Spell of the Sinister); 1972 – Inspector Barth in What Have You Done to Solange?.

Fuchsberger was the stadium announcer for the opening and closing ceremonies of the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. During the closing ceremony, it was suspected that a hijacked passenger aircraft was on its way to the stadium. Fuchsberger, fearing a panic, decided against evacuation. This decision was vindicated when the original suspicion turned out to have been false.

In the late 1960s, Fuchsberger co-founded a real estate company that went bankrupt in a short time. At 42, he had lost his entire fortune, had to sell his villa and sat on a mountain of debt. With the help of his wife, Gundula, good friends and tireless work, he managed to discharge the debt and to start a new existence.

In 1978, he was bitten by a chimpanzee during a TV show and fell seriously ill with hepatitis B. He spent 4 months at the quarantine station and suffered through a depression but recovered. He withdrew from film and television work in the late 1970s and concentrated on his stage career.

Fuchsberger lived in Grünwald near Munich and in Sandy Bay, Hobart, Tasmania. He held Australian citizenship together with his German one. He died of organ failure at his German home in Grünwald on 11 September 2014.

02 May, 2019

Edward Hulburt

Edward Olson Hulburt was an American geophysicist . He is considered the discoverer of the electrical properties of the ionosphere and the interaction between the sun and the earth's atmosphere. Besides, he was the first to realize that the blue color of the sky during the blue hour has a different cause than that during the day.

In 1931 he developed a study on the greenhouse effect in the Earth's atmosphere.

Felix Bloch

Felix Bloch was a Swiss-American physicist and Nobel physics laureate who worked mainly in the U.S. He and Edward Mills Purcell were awarded the 1952 Nobel Prize for Physics for "their development of new ways and methods for nuclear magnetic precision measurements." In 1954–1955, he served for one year as the first Director-General of CERN. Felix Bloch made fundamental theoretical contributions to the understanding of electron behavior in crystal lattices, ferromagnetism, and nuclear magnetic resonance.

Bloch was born in Zürich, Switzerland to Jewish parents Gustav and Agnes Bloch. He was educated at the Cantonal Gymnasium in Zürich and at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETHZ), also in Zürich. Initially studying engineering he soon changed to physics. During this time he attended lectures and seminars given by Peter Debye and Hermann Weyl at ETH Zürich and Erwin Schrödinger at the neighboring University of Zürich. A fellow student in these seminars was John von Neumann. Bloch graduated in 1927, and was encouraged by Debye to go to Leipzig to study with Werner Heisenberg. Bloch became Heisenberg's first graduate student, and gained his doctorate in 1928. His doctoral thesis established the quantum theory of solids, using Bloch waves to describe electrons in periodic lattices.

He remained in European academia, working on superconductivity with Wolfgang Pauli in Zürich; with Hans Kramers and Adriaan Fokker in Holland; with Heisenberg on ferromagnetism, where he developed a description of boundaries between magnetic domains, now known as "Bloch walls"; with Niels Bohr in Copenhagen, where he worked on a theoretical description of the stopping of charged particles traveling through matter; and with Enrico Fermi in Rome. In 1932, Bloch returned to Leipzig to assume a position as "Privatdozent" (lecturer). In 1933, immediately after Hitler came to power, he left Germany because he was Jewish, returning to Zürich, before traveling to Paris to lecture at the Institut Henri Poincaré.

In 1934, the chairman of Stanford Physics invited Bloch to join the faculty. Bloch accepted the offer and emigrated to the United States. In the fall of 1938, Bloch began working with the 37 inch cyclotron at the University of California at Berkeley to determine the magnetic moment of the neutron. Bloch went on to become the first professor for theoretical physics at Stanford. In 1939, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States.

During WWII, Bloch briefly worked on the atomic bomb project at Los Alamos. Disliking the military atmosphere of the laboratory and uninterested in the theoretical work there, Bloch left to join the radar project at Harvard University.

After the war, he concentrated on investigations into nuclear induction and nuclear magnetic resonance, which are the underlying principles of MRI. In 1946 he proposed the Bloch equations which determine the time evolution of nuclear magnetization. Along with Edward Purcell, Bloch was awarded the 1952 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on nuclear magnetic induction.

When CERN was being set up in the early 1950s, its founders were searching for someone of the stature and international prestige to head the fledgling international laboratory, and in 1954 Professor Bloch became CERN's first Director-General, at the time when construction was getting under way on the present Meyrin site and plans for the first machines were being drawn up. After leaving CERN, he returned to Stanford University, where he in 1961 was made Max Stein Professor of Physics.

At Stanford, he was the advisor of Carson D. Jeffries, who became a professor of Physics at the University of California, Berkeley.

In 1964, he was elected a foreign member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Bloch died in Zürich in 1983.

Elmer Imes

Elmer Samuel Imes was the second African American to earn a Ph.D. in Physics and the first in the 20th century. He was among the first African-American scientists to make important contributions to modern physics. While working in industry, he gained four patents for instruments to be used for measuring magnetic and electric properties. As an academic, he chaired and developed the department of physics at Fisk University, serving from 1930 to 1941.

Elmer S. Imes was born in 1883 in Memphis, Tennessee to Elizabeth (Wallace) and Benjamin A. Imes, both of whom were college educated and had met at Oberlin College in Ohio. They married there in 1880. Benjamin earned a divinity degree at Oberlin Theological Seminary in 1880. His father was descended from free people of color who had been established in south-central Pennsylvania by the time of the Revolution. His mother was born into slavery; her family had moved to Oberlin after the American Civil War when she was a child. Imes had two younger brothers: Albert Lovejoy Imes and William Lloyd Imes. The latter became a minister and was later pastor of St. James Presbyterian Church in New York City; he held degrees from Fisk, Union Theological Seminary, and Columbia University.

Imes and his brothers attended grammar school in Oberlin, Ohio. Their parents became missionaries with the American Missionary Association and moved to the South to serve freedmen and their children. Imes completed his high school education at the Agricultural and Mechanical High School in Normal, Alabama. He graduated in 1903 from Fisk University, a historically black college, with a bachelor's degree in science.

Upon graduating from Fisk, Imes taught mathematics and physics at Georgia Normal and Agricultural Institute; now Albany State University, a historically black college in Albany, Georgia, and the Emerson Institute, which had been founded in Mobile, Alabama by the American Missionary Association. Imes returned to Fisk in 1913 as an instructor of science and mathematics. During his tenure there, Imes also earned a master's degree in science from Fisk University.

He went to the University of Michigan for additional study in physics, earning a Ph.D. in Physics in 1918. He studied under Harrison McAllister Randall. Imes became the second African American to receive a Ph.D. in physics since Edward Bouchet did so from Yale University in 1876; Imes was the first African American in the 20th century to gain this degree.

Around 1919, after moving to New York to work in industry, Imes married Nella Larsen, a nurse who became a writer. She is considered part of the Harlem Renaissance, having published short stories and two novels in the late 1920s. The couple had moved from Jersey City, New Jersey, to Harlem, where they became part of the professional and cultural society that included artists and intellectuals such as Langston Hughes and W.E.B. Du Bois, members of the black elite. Due to strains in their marriage, they divorced in 1933, after Imes had returned to Fisk University in 1929 for an academic career.

Imes’ research and doctoral thesis led to his publication of Measurements on the Near-Infrared Absorption of Some Diatomic Gases in November 1919 in the Astrophysical Journal.[4] This work was followed by a paper co-authored and presented in November 1919 jointly with Harrison M. Randall, "The Fine Structure of the Near Infra-Red Absorption Bands of HCI, HBr, and HF" at the American Physical Society; it was published in the Physical Review in February 1920. This work demonstrated for the first time that Quantum Theory could be applied to radiation in all regions of the electromagnetic spectrum, to the rotational energy states of molecules, as well as the vibration and electronic levels. Imes' work provided an early verification of Quantum Theory. It became known in Europe as well as in the United States.

Imes' work was one of the earliest applications of high resolution infrared spectroscopy and provided the first detailed spectra of molecules. This led to development of the field of study of molecular structure through infrared spectroscopy.

In the early 1920s, Imes found difficulty in securing employment in academia. Not many black colleges had physics programs and white colleges did not hire him. As a result, he became a physics consultant and researcher after completing his doctorate; he worked in physics at the Federal Engineers Development Corporation in 1918 and with the Burrows Magnetic Equipment Corporation in 1922. In 1927, Imes went to work as a research engineer at E.A. Everett Signal Supplies. During the decade that Imes worked in the scientific and materials industry, his research resulted in four patents for instruments that were used for measuring magnetic and electric properties.

In 1930, Imes returned to Fisk University, where he served as Chair of the Physics Department. Imes is credited with the academic development of the physics programs at Fisk. Many of his students went on to obtain doctoral degrees from highly ranked schools such as the University of Michigan. While at Fisk, Imes developed a course in Cultural Physics, to teach students about the history of science. In 1931, Imes was named one of the thirteen most gifted Black Americans.

In 1939, Imes returned to New York, where he conducted research as a scholar in magnetic materials at the Physics Department at New York University. He died in 1941.

Pyotr Kapitsa

Pyotr Kapitsa was a leading Soviet physicist and Nobel laureate, best known for his work in low-temperature physics.

13 December, 2018

Bengt Berg

Bengt Magnus Kristoffer Berg was a Swedish ornithologist, zoologist, wildlife photographer, and writer.

Bengt Berg was one of the world’s first nature filmographers. He was one of the very first nature photographers and filmographers and one of the very top in the world of his time. He started photographing at around 1910. At the Victoria theatre in Berlin, the biggest "cinematograph theatre" at the time, he would explain to the audience from a speaker’s chair during his soundless films. During one consecutive period of four months there was full house (2600 people each show) twice a day every day. He was also the author of almost 30 books translated into 16 languages. His books were full of wildlife photographs and questioning, humorous stories from Sweden, Africa, India, Bhutan and the Himalayas. He was a vivid debater of various subjects to do with birds, flora, fauna in general. More than often his booming voice or pen would declare that man was taking far too greedy or indeed urban view and place in nature. Bengt Berg was many things beside a photographer and a writer. He was also a hunter and a believer in a natural life as a being amongst other animals. But first and foremost, his love was birds and in his writing, he was never far from words declaring his passion for the winged creatures surrounding us all: Thanks to him the sea eagle, the graylag goose, the golden eagle and the mute swan of Sweden were saved. He was the first to film the shoebill stork in South Sudan (early 1920s) Also in the 20s he followed the common cranes from Europe to find out the southernmost point they went to in Africa. 1930 He photographed the bearded vulture in the Himalayas, from a balloon basket fastened to a very long rope. Here he (and sometimes his wife) hung precariously and at great heights to get clear pictures of the birds, inside their caves on the cliff walls. But it was not only birds: At home in Sweden he was deeply involved in fencing private land to protect and understand more about the red deer, and his travels across the globe also turned him towards filming, photographing and writing of mammals like the elephants of Africa, the tigers and rhinoceros of India. When he came home from his filming of the shoebill stork in South Sudan he also had in his trunks the longest piece of film so far taken of the African elephant, and through his book of the Indian rhino in 1932 he brought the world to attention that the Chinese were killing them off at great speed in their demand for rhino horn. Dr. Bengt Berg looked with a very sober, albeit furious, gaze at man’s one moment thoughtlessness in nature and next moment unrealistic approach to be a human animal amongst other animals. Some thought him too loudly critical of man and claimed that he loved other kinds more than his own. "Do not judge me on my person but on the work, I have done here" were words he wrote not long before he died. 31 July 1967, 82 years old, he died from a stroke while swimming in the archipelago at his estate at Rosberg, Blekinge, Sweden.

He is best remembered for his many travel books, his naturalist photographs and movies, taken on several expeditions around the world, including Europe, Africa and Asia.