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1928

Calvin Coolidge declines to run for president again.

Herbert Hoover was “designated” to run for president of the United States. There was only one problem; although Herbert Hoover had been born in the United States, and was thus eligible for the office of the presidency, according to the Constitution, he had never had a business address or a home address in the United States, as he had gone abroad just after completing college at Stanford. The result was that during his campaign for the presidency, Herbert Hoover listed as his American address Suite 2000, 42 Broadway, New York, which was the office of Edgar Rickard. Suite 2000 was also shared by the grain tycoon and partner of J. Henry Schroder Banking Corporation, Julius H. Barnes.

The New York Times carried a story headlined: “Einstein on verge of great discovery; resents intrusion,” followed by another headline: “Einstein reticent on new work; will not “count unlaid eggs.” These stories erroneously state that Einstein was preparing a book on a new theory. In fact, as his correspondence shows, and his colleagues confirmed, he was at work on a short paper trying out a new version of UFT by means of distant parallelism. At the time, Einstein’s name was as magical then as a rock star is today and considering the impending stock market crash, it is very likely that these were merely distractions for the public.

Einstein’s friend Eddington wrote to him saying “You may be amused to hear that one of our great department stores in London has posted on its window your paper (the six pages pasted up side by side), so that passers-by can read it all through. Large crowds gather around to read it!” So great was the public clamor for a hero that Einstein had to go into hiding. And, as it turned out, it was much ado about almost nothing. His attempt to derive his equations from a variational principle had to be withdrawn.

The Rockefeller Foundation formally embarks on programs in the social sciences, with the consolidation of the activities of the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Memorial into RF. Directed by Beardsley Ruml, the Memorial concentrated on increasing manpower and developing facilities for research “in a systematic investigation of concrete social problems.” A year later RF identifies three major social science fields for support: international relations, economic stabilization, and public administration. Grants are to go for research, conferences, and publications.

Rockefeller Foundation also makes grants to build the Palomar Telescope.

America’s first TV station (W3XK) begins scheduled television broadcasts.

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