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1929

Herbert Hoover becomes the 31st president and the first president born west of the Mississippi River.

Stock Market Crash – The Great Depression begins. The stock market crash throws the nation’s economic system into disorder. Roosevelt’s vigorous relief policies convince people that he is on their side. Joseph Kennedy is one of the few financiers to sense the coming crash and makes hundreds of millions of dollars–he will set up a million-dollar trust fund for each child to free them from future financial worry and allow them to devote their lives to the public good, if they desire.

Einstein was again sure he was “on the right track.” Wolfgang Pauli wrote scathingly: “[Einstein’s] never-failing inventiveness as well as his tenacious energy in the pursuit of [unification] guarantees us in recent years, on the average, one theory per annum.” It is psychologically interesting that for some time the current theory is usually considered by its author to be the “definitive solution.”

Secretary of State Henry Stimson refuses to endorse a code-breaking operation, saying, “Gentlemen do not read each other’s mail.”

Agreement between Rockefeller Foundation and the General Education Board paves the way for the Foundation to “accept responsibility for the support of the natural sciences.” Archaeologists working on excavation of the ancient Athenian Agora receive support through grants to the American School of Classical Studies, Athens. Other early RF efforts in the humanities include support to the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago to train archaeologists and Harvard’s Fogg Art Museum to train curators and art historians, and for building library collections abroad. Max Mason becomes president of RF and serves until 1936.

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