Chicago, Illinois (JFK+50) Physicist Enrico Fermi, the first person to create and control a nuclear chain reaction, died of cancer here in Chicago 60 years ago today, November 28, 1954, at the age of 53.
Born in Rome in 1901, he earned his doctorate at the University of Pisa. In 1929 became the youngest man ever elected to the Royal Academy of Italy.
In 1938, Dr. Fermi was awarded the Nobel Prize in physics for "identifying of new radioactive elements."
Fermi sent a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt warning of the danger of German development of the atomic bomb. The letter led to the Manhattan Project which culminated in the use of two atomic bombs on Japan resulting in the end of World War II.
Dr. Fermi became a professor at the University of Chicago on July 1, 1945 and after the war served on the Advisory Board of the Atomic Energy Commission.
Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) Fifty years ago today, November 28, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson was advised by the National Security Council to escalate the bombing of North Vietnam.
The NSC included chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Maxwell Taylor, Secretary of Defense Robert S. McNamara and Secretary of State Dean Rusk.
The measure was recommended to the President in order to boost the morale of the South Vietnamese, cut communist infiltration into the south, and force Hanoi to stop its support of insurgency in South Vietnam.
The President's civilian advisers reportedly want a graduated escalation in the bombing while his military advisers favor a "fast and full" escalation.
LBJ ordered Operation Rolling Thunder which began in March 1965 and lasted through October 1968. This bombing operation followed the gradual escalation recommendation.