The other day I found this great picture of President Houston with Vannevar Bush at the first Rice Associates Dinner in the spring of 1954.( Houston brought the idea for an associates program with him to Rice from Cal Tech, which had already established an effective group.) During World War II Houston had worked in the Office of Scientific Research and Development, which Bush headed, and the two knew each other well. Bush, a key figure in the transformation of American scientific research into a largely government funded enterprise, would have been a big draw as a speaker. (Here’s a short assessment of Bush and his career. It’s hard to sum it up briefly and still be fair but this is reasonable.)
Here they are, clearly in Fondren, both sporting double-breasted dinner jackets:
Some years ago I scanned most of an article about this dinner. It came from one of those enormous scrapbooks kept by alumni volunteers and I have no idea what happened to the rest of it. I’m pretty sure from the general tone that it’s from the Houston Press and I have no online access to those archives to retrieve the rest. Still, there’s a lot to chew on here, in particular the part about Bush’s involvement in the suspension of Robert Oppenheimer’s security clearance:
(If you want more, here’s a link to Bush’s remarks that evening: Vannevar Bush Rice Address )
And here’s a surprise: For no good reason I also happen to have a picture of Houston with Robert Oppenheimer. This was taken at a conference at Yale in 1958:
I don’t have anything like the strength to get into the Oppenheimer security clearance issue right now other than to point out that Ken Pitzer also had significant role. Maybe later.
Bonus: Grandson, locked down.