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University of Chicago Library

Guide to the John L. Balderston, Jr. Collection 1945-1947

© 2017 University of Chicago Library

Descriptive Summary

Title:

Balderston, John L., Jr. Collection

Dates:

1945-1947

Size:

1 linear foot (2 boxes)

Repository:

Special Collections Research Center
University of Chicago Library
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, Illinois 60637 U.S.A.

Abstract:

Documents the Letters on World Government project, conducted by nuclear scientists John L. Balderston, Jr., Dieter M. Gruen, W.J. McLean, and David B. Wehmeyer. Includes letters from prominent intellectual, political, and entertainment figures discussing the creation of a world government to ensure peaceful control of atomic energy and a report summarizing the letters.

Information on Use

Access

This collection is open for research.

Citation

When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Balderston, John L., Jr. Collection, [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library.

Historical Note

In August, 1945, groups of scientists throughout the United States who had worked on the Manhattan Project, and others who were aware of the military and political consequences of atomic energy, began to form into local and national organizations. Their intent was to impress upon the public and the government the necessity of formulating suitable municipal and international agencies and laws for its control and development.

Between 1945 and 1952 these organizations waged an intensive co-operative campaign to this end and were largely responsible for the passage for the McMahon Act, creating the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission. They also aided in the adoption of the international control of atomic energy as a goal of American foreign policy and the creation of the National Science Foundation.

Scientists at the Oak Ridge, Tennessee, took a particular interest in the development of a world federal government, as advocated by Edith Wynner and Mortimer Adler, forming a World Government Committee. A group of four Oak Ridge scientists, John L. Balderston, Jr., Dieter M. Gruen, W.J. McLean, and David B. Wehmeyer, undertook the “Letters on World Government” project, which appears to have been loosely associated with the larger committee. The group wrote to 154 primarily American and British leaders in science, culture, and politics, soliciting their opinions and advice about the establishment of a world government. Over the next year, as more than 100 responses were received to the letter, the committee compiled a report that was released in 1947. The report was distributed primarily to interested staff at Oak Ridge facilities, by now consolidated into the Association of Oak Ridge Engineers and Scientists.

Scope Note

This collection primarily comprises John L. Balderston, Jr.’s records of the World Government letters project. The records are divided into three series: Series I, World Government Correspondence; Series II, Publication Correspondence and Final Report; and Series III, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Series I, World Government Correspondence consists of the solicitation letter that was sent out in 1945 and the responses to that letter. The responses and any attached documents were originally bound into three alphabetically organized volumes. They are now organized into folders, but the alphabetical arrangement remains intact.

Series II, Publication Correspondence and Final Report contains correspondence regarding the use of quotations from letters in the final report and responses to the report. It also includes the final report that was compiled and distributed in 1947.

Series III comprises a bound volume of Volumes 1-3 of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, first published on December 10, 1945 as the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists of Chicago.

Related Resources

Browse finding aids by topic.

Association of Oak Ridge Engineers and Scientists. Records

Subject Headings

INVENTORY

Series I: World Government Correspondence

Box 1   Folder 1

World Government Correspondence- Volume 1- Solicitation Letter, 1945

Box 1   Folder 2

World Government Correspondence- Volume 1- "A," 1945

  • Adler, Mortimer J.
Box 1   Folder 3

World Government Correspondence- Volume 1- "B," 1945

  • Ball, Joseph H.
  • Bard, Ralph A.
  • Barr, Stringfellow
  • Beard, Charles A.
  • Bohr, Niels
  • Braden, Spruille
  • Burton, Harold H.
  • Bush, Vannevar
Box 1   Folder 4

World Government Correspondence- Volume 1- "C," 1945

  • Campbell, John W.
  • Chadwick, J.
  • Cheshire, C.
  • Conant, James Bryant
  • Compton, Arthur H.
  • Consodine, William A., Col.
  • Corwin, Norman
  • Cowles, Gardner, Jr.
  • Cranborne, Viscount
  • Crider, James L.
  • Crosby, Bing
  • Culbertson, Ely
Box 1   Folder 5

World Government Correspondence- Volume 1- "D," 1945

  • Davies, Joseph E.
  • Douglas, Helen Gahagan
  • Drummond, Roscoe
  • Dulles, John Foster
  • Durant, Will
  • Duranty, Walter
Box 1   Folder 6

World Government Correspondence- Volume 1- "E," 1945

  • Eden, - (secretary for)
  • Eichelberger, Clark M.
  • Einstein, Albert
  • Eliot, Frederick May
Box 1   Folder 7

World Government Correspondence- Volume 2- List of Letters Received, 1947

Box 1   Folder 8

World Government Correspondence- Volume 2- "F," 1945

  • Farmer, Fyke
  • Fermi, Enrico
  • Field, Marshall
  • Fischer, John
  • Fisher, Dorothy Canfield
  • Flentje, B. Dorette
  • Fluschmann, R. H.
  • Fulbright, J. W.
Box 1   Folder 9

World Government Correspondence- Volume 2- "G," 1945

  • Gamow, George
  • Gildersleeve, Virginia C.
  • Grafton, Samuel
Box 1   Folder 10

World Government Correspondence- Volume 2- "H," 1945

  • Halifax, Lord
  • Hansen, C. B.
  • Hibbs, Ben
  • Howard, Roy W.
  • Hull, Cordell
  • Hutchins, Robert M.
  • Herz, Henriette
  • Hoover, Herbert
  • Huxley, Aldous
Box 1   Folder 11

World Government Correspondence- Volume 2- "I," 1945

  • Ingersoll, Ralph
Box 1   Folder 12

World Government Correspondence- Volume 2- "J," 1945

  • Johnson, Hewlett
  • Johnston, Eric A.
  • Johnson, Joseph E.
  • Jones, Rufus M.
Box 1   Folder 13

World Government Correspondence- Volume 2- "K," 1945

  • Kaltenborn, H. V.
  • Kettering, C. F.
  • Kimball, R. M.
Box 1   Folder 14

World Government Correspondence- Volume 2- "L," 1945

  • Langmuir, Irving
  • Lodge, Devon
  • Lawrence, Ernest O.
  • Lewis, Warren K.
  • Lippmann, Walter
  • Lloyd, Georgia
Box 1   Folder 15

World Government Correspondence- Volume 2- "M," 1945

  • Mann, Thomas
  • Martin, Frances R.
  • Merchant, Livingston T.
  • Meyer, Lt. Cord, Jr.
  • Mills, E. W.
  • Millikan, Robert A.
  • Minnich, L. A. Jr.
  • Morley, Christopher
  • Morse, Wayne
  • Muir, Malcolm
Box 1   Folder 16

World Government Correspondence- Volume 2- "Mc," 1945

  • McCarty, William T., C.SS.R., D.D.
  • McCormick, Robert
Box 1   Folder 17

World Government Correspondence- Volume 2- "O," 1945

  • Oliphant, M. L.
Box 1   Folder 18

World Government Correspondence- Volume 2- "P," 1945

  • Peterson, Eva
Box 1   Folder 19

World Government Correspondence- Volume 3- List of Letters Received, 1947

Box 1   Folder 20

World Government Correspondence- Volume 3- "R," 1945

  • Reves, Emery
  • Reynolds, Quentin
  • Ruml, Beardsley
  • Roberts, Owen J.
  • Russell, Bertrand
  • Russell, Francis H.
Box 1   Folder 21

World Government Correspondence- Volume 3- "S," 1945

  • Sandburg, Carl
  • Shapley, Harlow
  • Smyth, H. D.
  • Sokolsky, George E.
  • Stassen, Harold E.
  • Stettinius, Edward Riley
  • Straight, Michael
  • Stroit, Clarence K.
  • Sulzberger, Arthur Hays
  • Swing, Raymond
  • Sze, C. K.
Box 1   Folder 22

World Government Correspondence- Volume 3- "T," 1945

  • Taylor, Glen H., Hon.
  • Thomas, Elbert D.
  • Thomas, Norman
  • Thompson, Dorothy
  • Tolman, Richard C.
Box 1   Folder 23

World Government Correspondence- Volume 3- "U," 1945

  • Urey, Harold C.
Box 1   Folder 24

World Government Correspondence- Volume 3- "V," 1945

  • Van Doren, Mark
  • Voorhis, Jerry
Box 1   Folder 25

World Government Correspondence- Volume 3- "W," 1945

  • Wallace, H. A.
  • Watt, Robert J.
  • Winn, Reginald
  • White, W. L.
  • Welles, Sumner
Box 1   Folder 26

World Government Correspondence- Volume 3- "Y," 1945

  • Yutang, Lin

Series II: Permission Correspondence and Final Report

Box 2   Folder 1

Permission Correspondence- Letter to Bing Crosby, 1946

Box 2   Folder 2

Permission Correspondence- Handwritten List, undated

Box 2   Folder 3

Permission Correspondence "A," 1946

  • Atlantic Monthly (Snyder, Donald B.)
Box 2   Folder 4

Permission Correspondence "B," 1946

  • Barr, Stringfellow
  • Balderston, John L. Sr.
  • Ball, Joseph H.
  • Benedict, Steve
  • Burton, Harold
  • Bush, Vannevar
Box 2   Folder 5

Permission Correspondence "C," 1946

  • Cranborne, Lord
  • Crider, James L.
  • Culbertson, Ely
Box 2   Folder 6

Permission Correspondence "D," 1946

  • Davies, Joseph E.
  • Durant, Will
Box 2   Folder 7

Permission Correspondence "F," 1946

  • Field, Marshall
  • Fisher, Dorothy Canfield
  • Foreign Affairs
  • Free World Magazine
Box 2   Folder 8

Permission Correspondence "H," 1946

  • Harper & Brothers, Publishers
  • Hibbs, Ben
  • Henry Holt & Co., Publishers
  • Hoover, Herbert
  • Howard, Roy W.
  • Human Events, Inc.
  • Hutchins, Robert M.
Box 2   Folder 9

Permission Correspondence "J," 1946

  • Jones, Rufus M.
  • Johnston, Eric A.
Box 2   Folder 10

Permission Correspondence "K," 1946

  • Kaltenborn, H. V.
  • Kettering, C. F.
Box 2   Folder 11

Permission Correspondence "L," 1946

  • London School of Economics (signature illegible)
  • Lawrence, Ernest O.
Box 2   Folder 12

Permission Correspondence "M," 1946

  • Mann, Thomas
  • Mumford, Lewis
Box 2   Folder 13

Permission Correspondence "R," 1946

  • Roberts, Owen J.
  • Russell, Bertrand
Box 2   Folder 14

Permission Correspondence "S," 1946

  • Shapley, Harlow
  • Simon & Schuster, Inc., (Sonia Bleeker)
  • Smuts, General
  • Swing, Raymond
  • Syracuse University Press (William A. Miller)
Box 2   Folder 15

Permission Correspondence "T," 1946

  • Taylor, Glen H.
  • Thomas, Elbert D.
  • Thompson, Dorothy
Box 2   Folder 16

Permission Correspondence "V," 1946

  • Voorhis, Jerry
Box 2   Folder 17

Permission Correspondence "W," 1946

  • White, W. L.
Box 2   Folder 18

Final Report- Memo to Committee, 1947

Box 2   Folder 19

Final Report- Report on World Government Master Copy, 1947

Box 2   Folder 20

Final Report- Report on World Government, 1947

Series III: Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Box 2   Folder 21

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Vols. 1-3, 1945-1947