- Article: “ACS Shelter to Keep out Airborne Dangers,” Chemical and Engineering News. [Filed under LP Peace: Materials re: Fallout and Radiation Shelters, and Civil Defense, 1954-1961: Box #7.007, Folder #7.14]
- Executed Contract Resume RE: Contract Number Nonr-220(33). Shows that the contract was renewed for an amount of $28,000 during the period from 1 September 1961 through 31 August 1962. [Filed under LP Science: (Office of Naval Research: Correspondence, Memoranda, Notes and Assorted Materials re: “Structure of Metals and Intermetallic Compounds”, Contract Nonr 220(33) (Chemistry 43), 1958-1963), Box #14.035, Folder #35.1]
- LP's typed description of an unusual incident, RE: Around 11:00 this morning while LP was talking with Dr. Perry, Harold Waits, a graduate student, came into LP's office, despite being asked to wait outside. Waits said that LP was his father. LP told Waits that this was very unlikely. Waits continued to make unusual statements, then took off his shoes and asked for a cigarette. Then he asked to lie down. LP asked Dr. Perry to come in, and eventually Waits said that he had been in a mental hospital for three months and had been released three days ago. Dr. Perry phoned Health Services, and Dr. Eald came over to take Waits away. [Filed under LP Correspondence: (W: Correspondence, 1960-1962), #445.2]
- Letter from E. Messina to LP RE: Messina asks for a reprint of LP’s article on Strontium-90 which appeared in The New York Times on September 13, 1959. [Filed under LP Peace: Materials re: Strontium-90, 1961-1963: Box #7.014, Folder #14.8]
- Letter from Howard Plummer, HAP Music, to LP RE: Asks LP’s permission to use a statement he made in his song “Let Me Die With My Head Held High.” He describes the song and what he will do with it. Attachment: Lyrics and music for “Let Me Die With My Head Held High.” [Card from LP to Plummer undated] [Filed under LP Correspondence: (P: Correspondence, 1960-1963), #314.2]
- Letter from LP to A. H. Reesor Smith. RE: Informs him that there is no likelihood that an appointment could be arranged to work under his direction. [Letter from Smith November 4, 1961] [Filed under LP Correspondence (S: Correspondence, 1961): Box #381 Folder #381.2]
- Letter from LP to Barclay Kamb, RE: “Dr. Catchpool says that pumping units are available in a surplus store near the east end of Colorado Street. You might see him about them and perhaps buy one for the house.” [Filed under LP Biographical: Personal and Family: (Box 2, Family Correspondence: Linda Helen Pauling Kamb, 1960-1988), Walter Barclay Kamb, 1960-1981]
- Letter from LP to Clark Kerr RE: LP explains to Kerr about his desire to work at a school of medicine, particularly the University of California. LP says that discussion of this possibility has come to an end and that there had half-hearted efforts to suggest that there was not enough laboratory and office space for him. LP says that communications have seemed to indicate that it was a disapproval by Kerr. LP writes to Kerr to ask if he disapproved of LP being appointed to a position at the University of California School of Medicine in San Francisco. [Handwritten note at top: “17 March 1965 No answer received so far.”] [Filed under LP Safe: Drawer 2, Folder 2.006]
- Letter from LP to Director Gunnar Jahn. [Filed under LP Science: (World Academy of Sciences, 1958-1963), Box #14.043, Folder #43.1]
6 November 1961
I have just returned from London. I was only on the television show for a few minutes, but I think that it was well worth while to take the three days for this purpose - one day to travel to London, one day there, and one to get home. The television show was the one called This Week, from 8:00 to 8:30 P.M. on Friday 3 November. It is estimated by the British Independent Television Company that there are 10 million viewers, and I was told that for the first time a really vigorous statement had been made to the British people that they would all be killed if there were to be a great nuclear war. I commented on the damage to the human race that is being done now by the radioactive elements produced by the great Russian tests of the last weeks. My estimate is that 4,400,000 children will be caused to be born with gross physical or mental defect as a result of these tests, provided that the human race survives. I did not include an approximately equal number of embryonic deaths and stillbirths, because they do not cause so much human suffering as the neonatal deaths, childhood deaths, and viable children with gross physical or mental defect. The response to the program was excellent. A number of scientists and other intellectuals immediately planned, I was informed, to write letters to the newspapers about the statements that I had made. Perhaps Great Britain can be stimulated to take a vigorous lead in the fight for disarmament.
Then on Saturday I flew home, by the Polar route, and immediately on arrival went to a Los Angeles television station, where for two hours I carried on a debate with Congressman Chet Holifield, who is the Chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Atomic Energy. He made use of every trick, including those used by McCarthy, to attack me and support his thesis that the United States should construct a great system of fallout shelters. I characterized this action as one form of militarism, the effect of which, in providing protection to the people, can be completely neutralized by an increase in the scale of the nuclear attack.
It is unfortunate that our system of government, which is excellent in most respects, has a flaw, in that the leading men in Congress are the ones who have held office longest. For example, the Chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Atomic Energy, Mr. Holifield, has this position because of seniority - because he has been in the Congress for twenty years and happened to be appointed a member of this Committee fifteen years ago - rather than on the basis of ability.
I bought a copy of Punch while in London and was pleased to see that there were many references to nuclear destruction and to the fallacy of fallout-shelter construction in it. I am sending you two pages. One shows a cartoon of Khrushchev that refers to the pollution of milk with radioactive fission products. The strontium-90 content of milk will begin to go up seriously in a few months, and will have a high level for years. The Russian tests were more serious in this respect than the earlier tests carried out by the United States and Great Britain in the Pacific. In the earlier tests the bombs were exploded close to the ground, so that soil was vaporized in the fireball. As it condensed, it entrapped about 80 percent of the fission products, and carried them into the ocean. Some of the carbon 14 was also trapped in this way. The Russian tests were carried out at rather high altitudes in the atmosphere, because the local fallout, if the bomb were exploded close to the ground, would no doubt have killed many people in Siberia. However, as a result these Russian tests liberate about five times as much radioactive material per megaton as the Pacific tests.
We can expect the content of radioactive iodine, iodine 131, in milk to go up rapidly during the next few weeks. Iodine 131 has a half life of only eight days, but tremendous amounts are made in a nuclear explosion, and the radioiodine is concentrated in the thyroids of people, especially of infants and children, and damages them in such a way as to cause cancer of the thyroid. I estimate that during the next twenty years about 50,000 children will die of cancer of the thyroid because of the Russian tests. A possible preventive measure is to give the infants and children and also pregnant and lactating women ordinary potassium iodide, for a period of about a month after the great tests. This decreases greatly the amount of radioiodine that goes into the thyroid. However, very few people in the world will take such preventive action. Also, very few will use mineral calcium in the diet to decrease the amount of strontium 90 built into the bones of children.
The other sheet from Punch has a short poem on the Nobel Peace Prizes. You probably have seen it, but on the chance that it has escaped your attention I am sending it to you. The poem contains a mild criticism of the Award Committee - in large part, of course, not justified. I myself felt that it was fine that Luthuli should have been given the Prize for 1960. With Hammarskjöld, my principal feeling is one of regret that he did not receive the Prize while he was alive.
There is now a great ferment in the United States and other countries about nuclear war. Nearly every day demonstrations are being held in various American cities. I think that I mentioned to you the peace walk that was held two weeks ago in Los Angeles, which ended in a public park, where I spoke to the marchers. Then last week there were 1000 Los Angeles women in a demonstration against fallout shelters, outside of the principal government buildings in the city. There seems to me to be much less tendency on the part of the press to ridicule the demonstrators than there was a year or two ago.
- Letter from LP to Linus, Jr., Peter, Linda, and Crellin. LP has brought a bottle home for them to use. [Filed under LP Biographical: Personal and Family: (LP Biographical, Box #5.038, Folder #38.8]
6 Nov. 1961
To: Linus Jr., Peter, Linda and Crellin
Subject: Iodine 131
I have estimated, on the basis of E. B. Lewis's estimates, that probably about 50,000 children will die of cancer of the thyroid during the next 20 years, as a result of irradiation from the iodine-131 from the recent Russian bomb tests, which probably will begin to get in the milk in a week or so and will continue at high level for a month or so.
The Committee on Nuclear Information, St. Louis, has issued a bulletin pointing out that the readings might get as high as 5,000 to 10,000 micromicrocuries per liter, and that there might be some delay in reporting the high values.
The bulletin, which I have shown to Dr. Perry, also points out that it is possible to cut down the amount of iodine-131 that will settle in the thyroids of infants and children (and in smaller amounts older people) by adding iodine ion to the diet. The bulletin says that the effect would be cut down by a divisor 100 if every day a child is given one drop of a tenfold diluted saturated solution of potassium iodide. That is, the amount of iodide proposed per day is one tenth of a drop of a saturated solution.
I have brought a small bottle of potassium iodide home. You might think it worth while to make a saturated solution, to dilute some of the solution ten-fold, and to give the kids one drop a day for a month or two, starting now, and at some later period if there is another series of great atmospheric tests.
- Letter from LP to President Clarke Kerr, University of California, Berkeley, RE: LP’s research interests have been in biology and medicine for several years now. He discovered the first clearly characterized molecular disease, and just published a paper on a molecular theory of anesthesia. He has wanted to spend some time in a school of medicine, which might lead to a significant contribution to medicine. The University of California School of Medicine came up in a conversation with Dr. Featherstone, which attracted him because he liked the area and was a lecturer at Berkeley for five years. However, it is now being said that there isn’t enough space for him, but other communications seem to point to President Kerr being the one to veto it. LP would like to know if this is true. [Notes from conversation with Dr. Edelman, October 26, 1961] [Filed under LP Correspondence: (F: Individual Correspondence. (Fast-Feigen)), #118.2]
- Letter from LP to Professor Otto Bastiansen, Department of Chemistry, Oregon State College, RE: LP will be out of town for a while, so it won’t work out for Dr. Bastiansen to come to Pasadena. LP thinks that instead a letter would do to describe the problem of antiferromagnetism that he would like Dr. Bastiansen to work on. [Filed under LP Correspondence: (B: Individual Correspondence. (“Basic Scientists”-Bay)), #24.3]
- Letter from LP to San Luis Obispo County Planning Commission RE: Objects to granting John F. Smith a Conditional Use Permit to allow the excavation and screening of gravel in San Luis Obispo County. Explains that he owns property in the area and if the permit was granted, structures would be built within 50 or 100 yards of his property, blemishing the view. Also expresses concern that it could change the contour of the beach, causing scouring. [Filed under LP Biographical: (Deer Flat Ranch: Correspondence, 1957-1995), Box #4.047, Folder #47.1]
- Letter from LP, dictated and signed in his absence, to Dr. Morton R. Weinstein, Langley Porter Neuropsychiatric Institute, RE: LP is pleased to be invited to give a talk, but must decline because he is scheduled to speak for the School of Medicine on that day. He has found that, at 60 years old, he doesn’t have the energy to give two talks in one day. Also, he would prefer to wait for a later date, when his work in this area is more significant. [Letter from Weinstein to LP, October 20, 1961] [Filed under LP Correspondence: (L: Correspondence, 1961-1963), #232.1]
- Letter from LP, dictated and signed in his absence, to Mrs. Lucille Heacock, RE: LP is sorry that he cannot sign this letter he is dictating, because he leaves tomorrow on a trip to Europe. He sends herewith his photograph. [Note from Mrs. Heacock to LP, October 24, 1961] [Filed under LP Correspondence: (H: Correspondence, 1961-1962), #168.1]
- Letter from Mrs. Kaplan to LP, RE: Mr. Kaplan is delivering all of the Canadian signatures to James Thomson. Thomson will then send the signatures to the United Nations. Kaplan thanks LP for his work for peace and thanks AHP for being an such an inspiration. [Reply from LP December 22, 1961] [Filed under LP Peace: (Correspondence re: circulation and signing of An Appeal to Stop the Spread of Nuclear Weapons, April-December, 1961), Box #5.013, Folder #13.2]
- Letter from S.N. Dutta, Physics Department, Lucknow University, to LP, RE: Has been interested in the study of x-ray diffraction ever since LP’s visit in 1952, and would like the opportunity to work in LP’s lab during the next academic year. If further information is needed to secure a position and funding, referees and other details are available. [Filed under LP Correspondence: (D: Correspondence, 1960-1966), #99.2]
- Letter from the Editors of Nature to LP RE: Ask if LP could review the paper “Valence”, by Prof. C.A. Coulson, or suggest someone else to review it if he cannot. [Letter from Harris to the Editors November 17, 1961] [Filed under LP Correspondence: (M: Correspondence, 1959-1961), #258.3]
- Note from Mrs. Helen M. Hiller to LP and AHP, RE: As much as she would like to, Mrs. Hiller cannot subscribe to “The Minority of One”. She has enough already to read. [Filed under LP Correspondence:(H: Correspondence, 1961-1962), #168.1]
- Notes from phone conversation with Clark Kerr, 4:30 PM, RE: LP is depressed about U.C. Med. School, and thinks that Dean Saunders and Featherstone are not acting. Edelman thinks the matter went to Berkeley, and was turned down. [Notes from conversation with Dr. Edelman, October 26, 1961] [Filed under LP Correspondence: (F: Individual Correspondence. (Fast-Feigen)), #118.2]
- Report, “World Peace Foundation Annual Summary Statement of Expenditures.” [Filed under LP Peace: (Assorted Peace Groups, Wo-Yo), Box #4.017, Folder #17.6]