A Searing Light

It was first called the “Laboratory for the Development of Substitute Materials,” then the “Manhattan Engineer District,” after the location of offices in New York City near the Army Corps of Engineers offices. The project was very secret – the small committee running it included Vice President Henry Wallace, Secretary of War Henry Stimson, Army […]

Elizebeth Smith Friedman and Prohibition

One hundred years ago, it became illegal to stop off at the corner bar for a beer – the Volstead Act, commonly called Prohibition, outlawed the production, importation, transportation, and sale of alcoholic beverages in the United States. Courtesy of the Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-123257 Commissioner John A. Leach, right, watching agents pour liquor into […]

Marshall and the Civilian Conservation Corps

In March 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt proposed the establishment of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a large-scale public relief program that would provide employment for young men in the areas of conservation and natural resource development. Roosevelt ambitiously sought to have 250,000 men enlisted in the program by July, and it quickly became apparent that […]

Marshall and Ashton Carter

When President Obama announced his nomination of Ashton Carter to replace Chuck Hagel as secretary of defense in December 2014, many news reports anticipated a quick confirmation process. This proved to be accurate, with the Senate easily confirming Carter on February 12 by a vote of 93–5. The same would not be true when President […]