Albert Einstein – born on this day in 1879, turning 137 today. One of the greatest scientific minds of the 20th century, Einstein’s work on the general theory of Relativity has became the first of two pillars of modern Physics (the other pillar being Quantum Mechanics).
Born in Germany, and professor at the Berlin Academy of Sciences, Einstein was visiting the U.S. right at the time Adolf Hitler came to power in 1933 and knowing the writing on the wall for him as a Jew, he emigrated to the U.S., becoming an American citizen and taking a Professorship at Princeton University in 1940. On the eve of America’s involvement in World War 2, it was Einstein who wrote President Roosevelt warning him that Germany had the potential to develop “powerful new bombs of a new type” and urged Roosevelt to begin work on a similar device. The letter led to the formation of what became The Manhattan Project. And even though Einstein was a staunch defender of the allies position in the war, he denounced the idea that this new fission-based bomb would be used in war. After the war, he campaigned vigorously against any further use of the Atomic Bomb.
This address, given on the occasion of the opening of the Museum of Science and Industry in New York was a gala affair, and Albert Einstein was one of several speakers to dedicate the new facility. Also on hand were Fiorello LaGuardia and Amelia Earhart in what became one of her rare public addresses.
Where would we be without the contribution of Albert Einstein? What would have happened, had he stayed in Germany? We can never know for sure. We can only guess.
But one thing is for certain – today is Albert Einstein’s Birthday and the world remembers him.
Now you get to hear his voice, in case you’ve never heard it before.