Guide to Atoms for Peace Awards Records
MC.0010

Summary Information

Repository
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Institute Archives and Special Collections
Creator
Killian, James Rhyne, 1904-1988
Creator
Leggett, M. Bryce
Title
Atoms for Peace Awards records
ID
MC.0010
Date [inclusive]
1944-1972
Extent
5.0 cubic feet (1 record carton, 10 manuscript boxes, 1 flat storage box)
Location
Materials are stored off-site. Advance notice is required for use.
Language
English
Abstract
Atoms for Peace, Inc. was formed by the Ford Motor Company as a memorial to Henry and Edsel Ford to present awards to those who made contributions to the peaceful uses of atomic energy. In August 1955, James R. Killian, president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, accepted the invitation of Henry Ford II to serve as chairman of the Organization and Planning Committee for the Atoms for Peace awards. The directors of the Ford Motor Company authorized an appropiation of one million dollars at a rate of $100,000 annually for ten years. Ten awards were given, the first in 1957, and the last in 1969. The collection consists of the records of executive secretary Bryce Leggett, and includes minutes of meetings and biographies of nominees.

Citation

Atoms for Peace Awards, Inc. Records, MC 10, box X. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Institute Archives and Special Collections, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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Recipients of the Atoms for Peace Awards

October 24, 1957 First Award: Niels Henrik David Bohr
January 29, 1959 Second Award: George Charles de Hevesy
May 18, 1960 Third Award: Leo Szilard and Eugene Paul Wigner
May 18, 1960 Fourth Award: Alvin M. Weinberg and Walter H. Zinn
April 6, 1961 Fifth Award: Sir John Cockcroft
October 24, 1963 Sixth Award: Vladimir Iosovich Vekslev and Edwin McMillan
November 14, 1967 Seventh Award: Bertrand L. Goldschmidt, W. Bennett Lewis, and Isidor Isaac Rabi
October 14, 1968 Eighth Award: Sigvard Eklund, Abdus Salam, and Henry DeWolf Smyth
May 14, 1969 Ninth Award: Aage Niels Bohr, Floyd LeRoy Culler, Jr., Henry Seymour Kaplan, Ben Ray Mottelson, Compton Alexander Rennie, Anthony Leonid Turkevich
May 14, 1969 Tenth Award: Dwight David Eisenhower

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Historical note

On July 20, 1955, in Geneva, Switzerland, President Dwight D. Eisenhower called for an international effort to apply nuclear science to peaceful purposes and expressed his hope that "private business and professional men throughout the world will take an interest and provide an incentive in finding new ways that this new science can be used . . . for the benefit of mankind and not destruction." In response, Henry Ford II, Benson Ford, and Henry Clay Ford proposed that the Ford Motor Company Fund authorize an appropriation of one million dollars to be granted at a rate of $100,000 annually for ten years to recognize outstanding contributions to the peaceful application of nuclear energy. The "Atoms for Peace Awards, A Memorial to Henry Ford and Edsel Ford," was established by the directors of the Fund to receive and administer the monies. The creation of the Awards was announced at the World Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy in Geneva, Switzerland, on August 8, 1955, by Admiral Lewis L. Strauss, chairman of the United States Atomic Energy Commission.

On August 12, 1955, James R. Killian, president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, accepted the invitation of Henry Ford II to serve as chairman of the Organization and Planning Committee for the Atoms for Peace Awards. Six other committee members were subsequently appointed to consider questions of policy and administration. Their decisions and recommendations, which included a suggested Certificate of Incorporation and By-Laws for the Atoms for Peace Awards, Inc., were submitted to the Ford Motor Company Fund. These were approved and, on behalf of the Fund, the committee members were named trustees of the new non-profit organization.

Award recipients were selected by the trustees from among the world's scientists, engineers, and others who, in their judgment, had made the greatest contribution to the development of peaceful uses of atomic energy. The award winners were chosen without regard for nationality or political ideology and received a cash honorarium accompanied by a commemorative medal. Individuals and organizations were encouraged to nominate any person who had made a significant contribution. An Advisory Committee on Nominations, appointed by the Board of Trustees, conducted the preliminary screening of the nominations and submitted its recommendations to the trustees who made the final decision. If the Board of Trustees failed to discover a candidate meriting the award, the award and medal were withheld during that year.

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Arrangement note

The records remain in their original folder units as established by Bryce Leggett, executive secretary of Atoms for Peace. The records were organized by Leggett into two files: a single alphabetical subject and correspondence series and an alphabetical nominee file.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

 Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Institute Archives and Special Collections (Copyright 1984)

MIT Libraries
Building 14N-118
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02139-4307
617.253.5690
mithistory@mit.edu

Revision Description

  updated 2005; 2009; 2010

Access note

The collection is open for research.

Intellectual Property Rights

Access to collections in the Institute Archives and Special Collections is not authorization to publish. Separate written application for permission to publish must be made to the Institute Archives. Copyright of some items in this collection may be held by respective creators, not by the donor of the collection.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Atoms for Peace Awards, Inc.

Genre(s)

  • Photographs
  • Sound recordings

Personal Name(s)

  • Benedict, Manson
  • Bohr, Aage
  • Bohr, Niels (Niels Henrik David), 1885-1962
  • Bronk, Detlev W. (Detlev Wulf), 1897-1975
  • Cockcroft, John, Sir, 1897-1967
  • Compton, Arthur Holly, 1892-1962
  • Eisenhower, Dwight D. (Dwight David), 1890-1969
  • Eklund, Sigvard Arne, 1911-2000
  • Hammarskjöld, Dag, 1905-1961
  • Hevesy, Georg von, 1885-1966
  • Killian, James Rhyne, 1904-1988
  • Kistiakowsky, George B. (George Bogdan), 1900-
  • Oppenheimer, J. Robert, 1904-1967
  • Teller, Edward, 1908-2003
  • Tuve, Merle Antony, 1901-1982
  • Wigner, Eugene Paul, 1902-1995

Subject(s)

  • Nuclear energy.

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Bibliography

Proceedings of the Atoms for Peace Awards, 1957-1969: A Memorial to Henry Ford and Edsel Ford. Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, 1978. MIT Libraries (Institute Archives Reference Collection): QC792.7.P76

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Collection Inventory

 Series 1. Subject Files and Correspondence 

Scope and Contents note

The correspondence files in the Subject and Correspondence series reflect the communication between the Atoms for Peace administrators and the nominators and nominees of the award, ceremony participants, and individuals involved in the planning of the award convocations. Nomination related correspondence provides a rich source of opinion expressed by the international scientific community in evaluating the contributions of its members in the area of peaceful nuclear application. Additionally, the memoranda and correspondence of the Atoms for Peace administration provide insight into the criteria upon which award nominations were solicited, evaluated, and presented.

Records of the awards ceremony (box 1) include audiotape recordings (boxes 6-11) of the ceremonies produced by the Voice of America and Boston Public Broadcasting Station WGBH, invitation lists, invitation acceptances and declinations, press releases, biographical sketches of award recipients, and the published proceedings of the Atoms for Peace Awards for each year the award was given. The proceedings document testimonials, responses, and speeches delivered at the ten award ceremonies between 1957 and 1969. The addresses primarily focus on the impact of science on society in the post-World War II era and the interaction of science and public policy.

The records of James R. Killian (box 2) chairman of the 1955 Organization and Planning Committee and president of the Board of Trustees from 1955 to 1969, encompass the years the organization was engaged in granting awards. Correspondence includes communication between Mr. Killian and members of the Advisory Committee on Nominations and the Board of Trustees relating to the selection of award recipients. Additional correspondence concerns the disposition of the remainder of the Atoms for Peace Awards funds in 1969 and 1970.

Box

A, general correspondence 1956-1959 

1

Advisory Committee on Nominations, report 1967 

1

Atoms for Peace Awards, background publications 1955-1956 

1

Atoms for Peace Awards, financial closeout 1969 

1

Award ceremony, first, Niels Bohr 1957 

1

Award ceremony, second, George de Hevesy 1959 

1

Award ceremony, second, George de Hevesy audiotape (4 reels) 1959 

6

Award ceremony, third and fourth 1960 

1

Award ceremony, fifth 1961 

1

Award ceremony, fifth, audiotape 1961 

7

Award ceremony, sixth 1963 

1

Award ceremony,sixth, audiotapes (4 reels) 1963 

8

Award ceremony, seventh (2 folders) 1967 

1

Award ceremony, seventh, audiotapes (3 reels) 1967 

9

Award ceremony, eighth 1968 

1

Award ceremony, tenth (2 folders) 1969 

1

Award ceremony, audiotapes (4 reels) undated 

10

Award ceremony, audiotapes (6 reels) undated 

11

B, general correspondence 1956-1966 

1

Bacher, Robert 1956-1969 

1

Beadle, George 1961-1962 

1

Becker, Herr 1955-1956 

1

Benedict, Manson 1958-1963 

1

Bernard, Vernon 1955-1957 

1

Bhabha, Homi 1957 

1

Bohr, Aage 1969 

1

Bohr, Niels 1957-1963 

1

Bohr, Niels: clippings 1957 

1

Bright, Mabel 1960-1967 

1

British Embassy 1956-1961 

1

Bronk, Detlev 1955-1969 

1

Bunche, Ralph 1955-1970 

1

Burhoe, Ralph 1956-1961 

1

C, general correspondence 1955-1971 

1

Charter and bylaws 1954-1955 

1

Chinese Association for the Advancement of Science 1958-1959 

1

Chicago proposal to host 1957 World Atoms for Peace conference 

12

Chicago proposal to host 1958 World Atoms for Peace conference 

12

Choate, Hall and Stewart (2 folders) 1956-1972 

1

Clippings 1955-1969 

1

Cockroft, John 1956-1962 

1

Compton, Arthur 1955-1961 

1

Crank letters 1955-1967 

2

Culler, Floyd 1969 

2

D, general correspondence 1956-1972 

2

Danish Embassy 1956-1957 

2

de Hevesy, George Charles 1958-1963 

2

de Hevesy, George Charles: clippings 1958-1959 

2

de Hevesy, George Charles - photograph 

12

E, general correspondence 1956-1962 

2

Earl Newsom and Co. (2 folders) 1955-1967 

2

Eisenhower, Dwight D. 1956-1969 

2

Eklund, Sigvard 1965-1970 

2

Emel'Yanov, Vasilii Semenovich undated 

2

F, general correspondence 1957-1972 

2

Ford, Benson 1959-1964 

2

Ford, Henry, II 1956-1969 

2

Ford, William 1957-1958 

2

G, general correspondence 1955-1969 

2

Goldschmidt, Betrand 1956-1972 

2

H, general correspondence 1955-1968 

2

Hammerskjold, Dag 1957-1960 

2

Hokanson, Walcott 1956-1970 

2

Horton, Mildred 1955-1960 

2

I, general corresopndence 1957-1969 

2

Indonesian Embassy 1956-1957 

2

Interim report 1956 

2

International Atomic Energy Agency 1959 

2

Invitation lists 1957-1963 

2

Italian Embassy 1956 

2

J, general correspondence 1957-1960 

2

K, general correspondence 1958-1959 

2

Kaplan, Henry 1969 

2

Kelly, Mervin 1955-1969 

2

Killian, James (2 folders) 1957-1969 

2

Lolm, Henry 1956 

2

L, general correspondence 1957-1965 

2

Leob, Robert 1956-1969 

2

Lewis, Wilfred 1957-1965 

2

Lovett, Robert 1955-1958 

2

Lybrand, Ross Bros. and Montgomery 1959-1965 

2

M, general correspondence 1956-1961 

2

Marshack, Robert 1957-1969 

2

McMillan, Edward 1960-1964 

2

Mecke, Theodore 1958-1968 

2

Medal, Atoms for Peace 1955-1969 

2

Mottelson, Ben 1969 

2

N, general corresopndence 1956-1969 

2

National Academy of Sciences: National Research Council (2 folders) 1956-1969 

2

Nichols, Osgood 1967-1969 

2

O, general correspondence 1963 

3

Organization and Planning Committee notebook (2 folders) 1955-1956 

3

P, general correspondence 1957-1968 

3

Photographs of awards between 1957 and 1969 

12

Pine, William 1956-1967 

3

Press releases (2 folders) 1952-1969 

3

R, general correspondence 1956-1961 

3

Rabi, Isidor 1955-1969 

3

Ramsey, Norman 1961-1962 

3

Rennie, Compton 1969 

3

S, general correspondence 1956-1968 

3

Salam, Abdus 1965-1970 

3

Seaborg, Glenn 1958-1967 

3

Smyth, Henry 1968 

3

Snyder, Joseph 1957-1970 

3

Solicitation for nominations 1956-1962 

3

Strauss, Lewis 1956-1960 

3

Szilard, Leo 1960-1961 

3

Szilard, Leo, photographs 

12

T, general correspondence 1956-1968 

3

Thomas, Charles 1956-1969 

3

Travel and expenses 1956-1969 

3

Treasurer's report (2 folders) 1956-1970 

3

Trustees meetings 1955-1957 

3

Trustees meetings 1958 

3

Trustees meetings 1959-1960 

3

Trustees meetings (2 folders) 1961-1969 

3

Turkevich, Anthony 1969 

3

U, general correspondence 1956-1968 

3

Uenaka, Setare (2 folders) 1958-1960 

3

United States Information Agency 1957-1961 

3

V, general correspondence 1956-1966 

3

Veksler, Vladimir 1962-1963 

3

Vose-Swain Engraving 1960-1969 

3

W, general correspondence 1955-1970 

3

Waterman, Alan 1955-1969 

3

Waugh, Sidney 1956-1957 

3

Weinberg, Alvin 1960-1967 

3

Wheeler, John 1957-1959 

3

Wielgosz, Simone 1956-1958 

3

Wigner, Eugene 1956-1962 

3

William E. Rudge's Sons 1957-1959 

3

Y, general correspondence 1957-1962 

3

Zinn, Walter 1960-1962 

3

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 Series 2. Nominee Files 

Scope and Contents note

Individuals whose names were placed in nomination for the Atoms for Peace Award are listed in the Nominee Files. The nominations range from the less known Arthur Arendt, who in 1956 proposed the feasibility of utilizing guided nuclear missiles to defuse hurricanes, to such distinguished contributors in the international scientific community as Niels Bohr, I. I. Rabi, and George de Hevesy. The files consist of letters of nomination, supporting documentation including publications, and evaluations of the nominees' contributions to peaceful nuclear research

Box

Adams, John 1960 

4

Althaus, Johannes 1955-1956 

4

Amini, Mostefa 1956 

4

Arendt, Arthur 1956 

4

Bethe, Hans 1956-1961 

4

Bloch, Felix 1957 

4

Bohr, Niels 1950-1957 

4

Born, Max 1960 

4

British Medical Research Council 1956 

4

Brown, Hugh 1956 

4

Brucer, Marshall 1959-1960 

4

Carpovich, Eugene 1956 

4

Chadwick, James 1957-1960 

4

Chaikoff, I. L. 1957 

4

Chope, Wilbert and Henry (3 folders) 1956-1960 

4

Cisler, Walker Lee 1956-1957 

4

Clusius, K. 1957 

4

Cockcroft, John 1956-1960 

4

Cole, W. Sterline 1956 

4

Compton, Arthur 1957-1960 

4

Coryell, Charles 1957-1961 

4

Crimi, William 1956 

4

Daniels, Farrington 1957 

4

Dean, L. A. 1957 

4

de Cote-Marsh, Charles 1957 

4

de Hevesy, George (2 folders) 1956-1958 

4

Dos Santos, Jose Musa 1956-1957 

4

Dunham, Charles 1959-1960 

4

Dunworth, J. V. 1956 

4

Eisenhower, Dwight D. 1956-1962 

4

Fowler, William 1957 

4

Freed, Simon 1957 

4

Fritz-Niggli, Hedi 1961 

4

Gaudin, A. M. 1956 

4

Gray, L. H. 1956 

4

Hafstad, Lawrence 1956 

4

Hahn, Otto 1956-1959 

4

Hahn, Paul 1956-1957 

4

Haworth, Leland 1960 

4

Heisenberg, W. 1958 

4

Hendricks, S. B. 1957 

4

Hershey, A. D. 1960-1961 

4

Hill, Walter 1954-1956 

4

Hinton, Christopher 1957-1958 

4

Hollaender, Alexander 1956-1966 

4

Ifftner, Robert 1957 

4

Jaimet, C. H. 1956 

4

Johns, H. E. 1956 

4

Joliot-Curie, Frederic 1956-1957 

4

Junior Chamber of Commerce, Chicago Chapter 1956-1958 

4

Kamen, M. D. 1957 

4

Kistiakowsky, George 1957 

4

Kornberg, Arthur 1960-1961 

4

Kramer, Andrew 1956 

4

Larson, Clarence 1957-1962 

4

Lauck, Carl 1955 

4

Lawrence, Ernest 1956-1958 

4

Lawrence, John 1956-1962 

4

Lemaitre, Canon 1957 

4

Levine, Louis 1956 

4

Libby, Willard 1957-1960 

4

Mini, M. A. 1956 

4

Mann, James 1956 

4

Material Testing Reactor Group 1956 

4

Mayneord, W. B. 1944-1966 

4

McMillan, Edwin 1957-1961 

4

Meggers, William 1957-1962 

4

Meitner, Lise 1956-1960 

4

Mitchell, J. S. 1956-1957 

4

Montero, Lorenzo Plaza 1957 

4

Muller, Hermann 1956-1957 

4

Muller, J. H. 1956-1957 

4

Myers, Homer 1957 

4

National Academy of Sciences 1956 

4

Neber, Victor 1957 

4

Nemeth, Ferenc 1957 

4

Nenning, August 1956 

4

Nominees 1959-1961 

4

NRX Reactor Group 1956 

4

Oppenheimer, Robert 1957 

4

Paneth, F. A. 1957 

4

Panofsky, Wolfgang 1957 

4

Peacock, Wendell 1953-1957 

4

Perrin, Francis 1957 

4

Phoenix Project, University of Michigan 1957 

4

Proctor, Bernard 1953-1957 

4

Prosdocimi, Gius Andrea 1956 

4

Rabi, Isidor I. 1956-1960 

4

Radkowsky, Alvin 1956 

4

Randers, Gunnar 1956-1957 

4

Rickover, H. G. 1957 

4

Roberts, Alpheus 1956 

4

Rougeron, Camille 1956 

4

Salmanpoor, Albert 1956 

4

Savitch, Pavel 1956-1957 

4

Schumb, Walter 1957 

4

Seaborg, G. T. 1956 

4

Sievert, R. M 1956 

5

Skobeltzin, D. V. 1957 

5

Spinks, J. W. T. 1956 

5

Strauss, Lewis L. 1956-1961 

5

Svedberg, The (Theodor H.E.) 1959 

5

Szilard, Leo 1955-1957 

5

Taylor, Lauriston 1958-1962 

5

Teller, Edward 1960-1961 

5

Thode, H. G. 1956 

5

Tukey, H. B. 1957 

5

Tuve, Merle 1957-1961 

5

United Nations 1956 

5

United States Geological Survey 1957 

5

Urey, Harold 1957-1960 

5

Vavilov, Viktor 1956 

5

Veksler, Vladimir 1960-1961 

5

Villar, German E. 1954-1956 

5

Walton, E. T. S. 1958 

5

Warren, Shields 1959-1960 

5

Weinberg, Alvin 1956-1957 

5

Whitman, Walter 1956-1957 

5

Wigner, Eugene P. 1956-1957 

5

Zinn, Walter 1955-1958 

5

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