Oregon State UniversitySpecial Collections & Archives Research Center
Pauling Chronology
Page 19

Increasing Involvement in World Peace, Part 1 (1955-1958)


The Paulings travel to India, where they have dinner with Nehru and visit a number of institutions, where Pauling gives talks. During their stay in Japan (February 21 to March 11), the Paulings visit Tokyo University, Kyoto University, Osaka University, and a number of industrial plants. In Tokyo and Kyoto, Pauling gives public lectures, which are translated into Japanese, on the hemoglobin molecule in health and disease. He finds the caliber of the scientific and technical people in Japan "very high" and the quality of the work being done "excellent." He is told by an advisor to the Imperial Family that one of the Emperor’s sons is interested in chemistry and that he and the Emperor wish to speak with him, but the State Department of the United States succeeds in preventing him from being given this audience with the Emperor, since, in their official view, "there would be adverse repercussions."

On July 9, Bertrand Russell reads what comes to be known as the Russell-Einstein Manifesto at a press conference in London. Pauling’s name appears with a distinguished list of scientists at the end of the manifesto, which urges the governments of the world to realize that their purposes cannot be furthered by war. Consequently, the manifesto entreats governments to find peaceful means for the settlement of all disputes between them. The manifesto appears in many newspapers and magazines throughout the world.

On July 15, Pauling and over fifty other Nobel laureates issue the Mainau Declaration, which calls for an end to all war, especially nuclear war.

Pauling, Corey, and Marsh publish their paper on the structure of silk fibroin.

In November, Pauling appears before the Subcommittee on the Constitutional Rights of the Committee on the Judiciary of the United States Senate. He testifies that he is not and has never been a Communist, open or concealed. He adds: "I am not even a theoretical Marxist." The hearing goes on to deal with his difficulties with R.B. Shipley, the chief of the Passport Division of the U.S. State Department.

Pauling, Corey, and Marsh publish a paper in Acta Crystallographica on the structure of Tussah silk (commonly called wild silk) fibroin.

Linus Pauling, 1957.
Linus Pauling, 1957.
LP Safe, 4.089


Both Crellin Pauling and Peter Jeffress Pauling marry in 1956.

Walter Barclay Ray gets his Ph.D. from CIT. Although he is in the Division of Geologic Sciences, his dissertation, a crystal-structure determination of zunyite, is carried out under Pauling’s direction (he will later become Pauling’s son-in-law).

In August, Pauling receives the Amadeo Avogadro Medal in Rome. He gives a speech on Avogadro in Italian (an Italian chemist in Urbana, Illinois had translated it from English into Italian for him).

Pauling purchases a ranch of 165 acres on the seacoast, about 20 miles north of San Simeon. He intends to use the ranch as a retreat.

In the late fall, Pauling visits the site of his ranch on the Big Sur coast, and he invites Barclay Ray and his daughter Linda along. Barclay and Linda become good friends (which is probably what Pauling had intended).

In October, the Ford Foundation gives a five-year $450,000 grant to CIT and Pauling. Pauling has a team of scientists who have started exploring the molecular chemistry of mental disease. Pauling believes that many cases of mental deficiency are most likely the result of gene-controlled mental abnormalities.

In November, Pauling votes for Adlai Stevenson to be President of the United States, but Stevenson is again defeated by Eisenhower.

Pauling and Corey publish a paper on the specific hydrogen-bond formation between pyrimidines and purines in DNA.


On May 15, Pauling speaks to students at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, where he states that no human being should be sacrificed to any nation’s program of perfecting nuclear weapons. Because of the enthusiastic response to his speech, he composes an appeal to end the atomic-bomb tests, which is promptly signed by over a hundred (nearly all) of the members of the science departments at Washington University. The appeal, which then begins to be widely circulated, is signed, first, by more than 2,000 American scientists, and then by more than 8,000 foreign scientists from 49 different countries.

Linus and Ava Helen Pauling working on the United Nations bomb test petition, 1957.
Linus and Ava Helen Pauling working on the United Nations bomb test petition, 1957.
LP Photographs, 1957i.32

During the summer, Linus and Ava Helen Pauling spend three months in Europe. He attends the International Congress of Pure and Applied Chemistry in Paris in July, and he and his wife then travel to England, Germany, and Norway. They spend a week in Yugoslavia, where Pauling participates in an international chemical congress on the structure of molecules. The last stop on their travels is the Soviet Union, which they visit for the first time. Russia reminds Pauling of Eastern Oregon, and the Russian people seem to him like Western Americans.

In September, Barclay Ray, Assistant Professor of Geology at CIT, marries Linda Pauling in Pasadena. They honeymoon at the Pauling ranch on the Big Sur coast.


On January 15, Linus and Ava Helen Pauling present the petition to halt bomb tests, plus a list of over nine thousand signers, to Dag Hammarskjöld at the United Nations. Pauling later sends by mail an additional list of about two thousand signers whose signatures reach him after the presentation of the petition (so the total number of scientists who sign becomes 11,021).

In February, Pauling debates the fallout issue and disarmament with Edward Teller on educational television station KQED in San Francisco.

Pauling attends the Second Pugwash Conference at Lac Beauport, Québec from March 31 to April 11.

In April, Pauling and seventeen other persons, including Norman Thomas and Bertrand Russell, bring a lawsuit against the United States Defense Department and the Atomic Energy Commission to stop nuclear tests. They announce similar suits will be filed in Great Britain and the Soviet Union.

On May 11, Pauling appears on "Meet the Press," a popular television program in which reporters question people in the news. The program takes place on Mother’s Day, and Pauling tries to make the point that the testing of nuclear bombs is causing ten thousand children to be born with genetic defects every year, but the journalists keep trying to pin the label of Communist affiliation on him. Ava Helen Pauling is deeply angered by the shoddy treatment her husband receives at the hands of the moderator, Lawrence Spivak, and the panel of reporters. Others write letters that protest the insinuations made by an obviously hostile group of journalists.

Linus Pauling publishes No More War!, a passionate analysis of the implications of nuclear war for humanity.

During the summer, Pauling presents a copy of No More War! to every United States Senator.

On June 21, Pauling is elected to the Soviet Academy of Sciences.

Linus and Ava Helen Pauling attend the Third Pugwash Conference in Kitzbühel and Vienna, Austria in September. It has three times as many participants as the first two conferences.

In November, Pauling publishes a paper on the genetic and somatic effects of carbon-14. In this influential paper, he estimates the effect of one year of bomb tests on the next generation.

Table of Contents

  1. The Ancestry of Linus Pauling (The Paulings)
  2. The Ancestry of Linus Pauling (The Darlings)
  3. Linus Pauling's Childhood (1901-1910)
  4. Linus Pauling's Adolescence (1910-1917)
  5. Pauling's Years as an Undergraduate at Oregon Agricultural College, Part 1 (1917-1919)
  6. Pauling's Years as an Undergraduate at Oregon Agricultural College, Part 2 (1919-1922)
  7. Linus Pauling as a Graduate and Postdoctoral Student at the California Institute of Technology, Part 1 (1922-1923)
  8. Linus Pauling as a Graduate and Postdoctoral Student at the California Institute of Technology, Part 2 (1924-1926)
  9. A Guggenheim Fellow in Europe during the Golden Years of Physics (1926-1927)
  10. Early Career at the California Institute of Technology (1927-1930)
  11. Pauling's Great Years of Achievement in Structural Chemistry, Part 1 (1931-1932)
  12. Pauling's Great Years of Achievement in Structural Chemistry, Part 2 (1933-1935)
  13. Pauling's Increasing Involvement in Molecular Biology (1936-1939)
  14. The War Years, Part 1 (1940-1942)
  15. The War Years, Part 2 (1943-1945)
  16. The Postwar Years, Part 1 (1946-1947)
  17. The Postwar Years, Part 2 (1948-1949)
  18. Proteins, Passports, and the Prize (1950-1954)
  19. Increasing Involvement in World Peace, Part 1 (1955-1958)
  20. Increasing Involvement in World Peace, Part 2 (1959-1963)
  21. The Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions (1964-1967)
  22. The University of California, San Diego (1968-1969)
  23. Stanford University (1969-1972)
  24. An Institute for Science and Orthomolecular Medicine, Part 1 (1973-1977)
  25. An Institute for Science and Orthomolecular Medicine, Part 2 (1978-1981)
  26. The Years Alone: Pauling after the Death of Ava Helen, Part 1 (1982-1988)
  27. The Years Alone: Pauling after the Death of Ava Helen, Part 2 (1989-1994)
  28. About the Author