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1952-Eisenhower elected president 1952-U.S. Explodes first hydrogen bomb NSB Chair Barnard - NSF Director Waterman
The National Science Board - A History in Highlights, 1950-2000
Table of Contents | Preface | Acknowledgements | Former Members | Exec Secretaries/Officers | Timeline

Activating the Board and Foundation

The Foundation was conceived, but not yet born. On June 25, 1950, North Korean forces attacked South Korea and troops mobilized under United Nations Commander General Douglas MacArthur were ordered to push them back. Truman declared the North Korean aggression a Communist strategy to undermine "the free world." In the press of emergency appropriations, the House hacked to zero the $450,000 the Administration had requested for the new science agency. DuBridge wrote to Steelman: "Would the possibility of reinstatement [be] increased if the President should promptly announce the creation of the National Science Board and the activation of this important new agency?"

Promptly following DuBridge's letter, the National Academy of Sciences, as allowed by the NSF Act, gave the White House a list of those it thought qualified for the Board. On September 30, 1950, Truman signed letters of invitation to some of the men on the NAS list, but also to others suggested by Steelman, among them two women, two African American academics, and two members of the Catholic clergy. Later, Congress decided on a budget of $225,000 for the Foundation through June 1951.

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