Jennifer Lake's Blog

Timeline 1921–1940

(under construction)
–“The Inquiry” (of E.M. House) becomes the Council on Foreign Relations, 108 original members
–New York City hosts the 2cd Eugenics Conference
–A. Einstein and C. Weizmann visit the US to raise money for Hebrew University in Jerusalem
–Hermann J. Muller states that bacteriophage may be a “free-living gene”
–Alexander Flemming discovers ‘lysozyme’ and publishes “On a Remarkable Bacteriolytic Element Found in Tissues and Secretions”
–Albert Einstein meets a young physicist in Prague who tells him that he has a machine that can demonstrate explosive nuclear power (was it Leo Szilard speaking of fission?), actually an extra release of atomic energy –see Ronald W. Clark, “Einstein, the Life and Times”
–the first vaccine for tuberculosis, ‘BCG’, is used in France
–Russia undergoes a massive famine (1921-1922) that claims 8-10 million lives
–Niels Bohr wins the Nobel Prize for the atomic structure of hydrogen
–Union Miniere du Haut Katanga (est.1906, Belgian Congo) builds its first refinery for uranium ore
–Bernard Flexner founds/chairs the Palestine Economic Corp.
–Theodor von Karman organizes the first conference on ‘applied’ aerodynamics at Innsbruck
–Oct.22, Benito Mussolini leads a march on Rome
–Nov, discovery in Egypt of King Tut’s tomb
–British Empire controls one quarter of the world’s land mass and population
Alexander Fleming discovers penicillin
–E.L. Bernays writes “Crystallizing Public Opinion”
–Spanish monarchy ousted by military dictatorship
–passage of US Immigration Act of 1924, defines quotas of “national origins”
–last recorded Bubonic plague in 20th century US, Los Angeles
–MGM Merger: Metro Pictures merged with Goldwyn and Mayer (also producer/distributors) to form Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the production and distribution arm of the Loews theatres.
–physicist Louis de Broglie describes ‘particle wave mechanics’
–psychiatrist Hans Berger records the first human brainwaves and names the proceedure (EEG)
–Music Corporation of America (MCA)talent agency is founded by Julius Caesar Stein; on the rise with radio and Big Bands, by the 1950s, MCA “the Octopus” dominates Hollywood and television
–Iodine added to public drinking water
–‘soft X-rays’ that penetrate 2mm are used for skin disorders
–report published on the medical plight of the Radium Girls, luminous dial painters in New Jersey, who were forced to litigate
–Jabotinsky founds the Zionist “Revisionist Party”
–AT&T establishes the Bell Laboratories
–Dr. James Ewing makes a statement at Lake Mohonk conference, “cancer will be the eliminator of the unfit…”
–discovery of “Newcastle Disease” virus, or “avian paramyxovirus”, tested as biowar agent
–Hermann J. Muller proves radiation cause of inheritable mutations
–Jan 7, first system of transatlantic radio-telephone service inaugurated
–H. J. Muller publishes “Artificial Transmutation of the Gene”, Science 66: 84-87
–May 20, Charles Lindbergh flies across the Atlantic; New York to Paris in 33 hours; wins $25,000 Orteig prize
–Standard Oil and I.G.Farben formalize partnership, Farben perfects “hydrogenated oil”
–“The Jazz Singer” is the first widely seen sound-added ‘talkie’ motion picture
–Buck v. Bell, victory for forced sterilization, upheld by the US Supreme Court
–Kaiser Wilhelm Institute of Anthropology, Human Heredity and Eugenics is founded on the “American model”
–the first Volta Congress of sciences is held in Italy; subject on nuclear physics
–the Great Mississippi Flood
–Robert Goddard, Charles Lindbergh, and Daniel Guggenheim set up a rocket test station in Roswell, New Mexico
–H. Florey and E. Chain ‘breed’ penicillin using X-rays
–women are given ‘therapeutic’ eugenic abortions with X-rays
–fate of the “radium dial painters” is studied by Dr. Robley D. Evans
–Amelia Earhart and 2 men fly across the Atlantic; in 1931 she marries publisher George Putnam (Skull and Bones family)
–Geiger and Muller perfect the ‘scintillometer’ and register cosmic radiation
–Ernest O. Lawrence, “the Atom Smasher”, comes to UCBerkeley
–Oct.11, the Graf Zeppelin airship carries its first transatlantic commercial passengers
–Herbert Hoover wins the US Presidency
–Stalin consolidates his power in the USSR, initiates first ‘5 Year Plan’
–Frederick Griffith discovers ‘transformation’, genetic uptake in streptococcus pneumoniae
–PCBs developed by Swann Chemical Co., later to merge with Monsanto
–artificial life is created (?)
–Stockmarket Crash, begins worldwide Depression: After the 1929 Crash, U.S.”national income dropped from $81 billion in 1929 to $68 billion in 1930, to $53 billion in 1931, and to $41 billion in 1932… during the first three years of the Depression, eighty-five thousand businesses failed, five thousand banks closed, and 9 million savings accounts were wiped out… Radio was the only diversion to prosper during the Great Depression”
–Robert Goddard sends the first scientific payload rocket into space
–US National Institutes of Health created by the Ransdell Act
–Public Health Service engages major hospital-buildng expansion, under US Treasury jurisdiction (Sec.of Treasury Andrew Mellon)
–the Kettering Laboratory is founded at Univ. of Cincinnati; specializes in fluoride
–the jet engine is invented
–founding of the Bank for International Settlements, the central bank for Europe’s central banks
–WORLD POPULATION at 2,070,000,000
–activation of the Irgun (1931-1948)
–F.Macfarlane Burnet isolates human influenza virus
–Hickory No. Carolina has the worst recorded single polio outbreak
–Bell Lab engineer K.G. Jansky builds first radio antennae (100ft. diameter dipole array) for astronomy
–Niels Bohr lecture “Light and Life” suggests complementary processes within biology, chemistry, and physics
–Japanese invade northern China for agricultural expansion, set up puppet-state in Manchuria (Siberian border)
–“fluoride” toxicity becomes widely known in the U.S.
–Canada becomes a major radium producer-exporter, mined from uranium, vanadium, or ‘carnotite’
— “Between 1931 and 1933 the Four  Horsemen ruthlessly cut the price for East Texas crude from $.98/barrel to  $.10/barrel. Many Texas wildcatters were run out of business.”
–the US midwest undergoes the Dust Bowl
–the Ukrainian famine-genocide called the Holodomor begins (1932-33); as many as 8 million ethnic Ukrainians perish from starvation
–vast Texas oilfields discovered (begun in 1901 with Spindletop)
–Homogenization of milk begins, a cause of heart disease
–radiotelescope invented
–Aldous Huxley publishes Brave New World [text>>]
–US national upward spike in polio outbreaks (1931-1932)
–FDR elected US President
–worst year of the global Great Depression
–Jan, Hitler gains the German Chancellory after death of Wilhelm Cuno
–Feb.15, attempted assassination of FDR in Miami, Fla. by Giuseppe Zangara
–Feb.27, burning of the Reichstag, Berlin
–Mar. “Judea Declares War on Germany”
–the “rescue of Jewish scholars” begins
–United States recognizes the USSR
–the USA is declared bankrupt; FDR reorganization; Apr., US citizens are required to trade real gold for gold certificates
–major crime wave of gangsters sweeps the US
–Ernst Ruska develops a workable electron microscope, perfected in 1938
–the third Volta Congress expositions immunology
–passage of the Milk Control Act of 1933, Supreme Court decides Nebbia v. New York
–“The Wilderness Society” is founded by Bob Marshall, son of Louis B. Marshall
–H.G. Wells publishes “The Shape of Things to Come”
–Aug., Bell radio engineer K.G. Jansky discovers signals from the Milky Way
–discovery of Type II diabetes
–Oct., the tandem rotor helicopter designed by Nicolas Florine makes a record flight of 10 minutes near Brussels
–Dec.05, repeal of Prohibition (Volstead Act)
–US, national testing of water fluoridation, seeking “safe” levels
–Enrico Fermi produces transuranic fission
–Leo Szilard patents a nuclear reactor with the British Admiralty
–Weizmann Institute of Science founded, named for Daniel Sieff
–Philo Farnsworth gives the world’s first public demonstration of an all-electronic television system, using a live camera, at the Franklin Institute of Philadelphia on August 25, 1934, and for ten days afterwards
–Los Angeles County Hospital staff sue for damages from polio ‘contagion’, settlement in exchange for silence
–FDR creates the Securities and Exchange Commission, appoints Joseph Kennedy chief
–Oct.9, assassination of Alexander, King of Yugoslavia (Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes)
–Tesla announces the invention of a death ray that can destroy planes from 250 miles away
–Wendall Stanley successfully “powders” infective virus (tobacco mosaic virus)
–March 22, Berlin broadcasts the first made-for-tv television programs
–the fifth Volta Congress in Rome expositions aeronautics and supersonic flight
–Mussolini invades Ethiopia, bordering Italian Somaliland
–chemical contraception ‘birth control’ is practiced with experimental vaccines
–Dr. Percy Brown writes a book about X-ray deaths, martyrs to science, dies himself of same
–Simon Flexner retires as RIMR director and JEM editor
–the Boulder (Hoover) Dam is completed, built ahead of schedule by the “Six Companies” led by Bechtel; one among several large power-generation projects, the largest (in the world) of which is Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River
–Yale Medical School receives the first major research grant to study polio
–F.M. Burnet and D. Lush publish on ‘lysogeny’, genetic incorporation of phage in bacteria
–the Tripartite Agreement is signed by U.S., Britain and France to stabilize currency with the U.S. dollar
–Spanish Civil War breaks out, the ‘nationalists’ of the fascist Franco govt, in league with Germany and Italy, overcome the republicans
–Oct.31, “On Halloween day..a group of Caltech students, led by Frank Malina, conducted the first stand-up rocket engine test”, launching the Pasadena JPL and the Space Age.; JPL explosives expert Jack Parsons becomes leader of the Agape Lodge of Aleister Crowley’s O.T.O. in southern Cal.
–Westinghouse builds first “industrial atom smasher”
–US, the National Cancer Institute is founded within the NIH
–contagious pleuropneumonia-like (PPLO) organisms are discovered in lab workers
–May 6, the Hindenburg zeppelin LZ-129 explodes in fire while docking at Lakehurst New Jersey
–West Nile virus is identified, causing fatal encephalitis in Uganda
–FDR founds the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, half of victims by this time are adults, adult statistics rising
–fluoridation experiments on Native Americans leads Henry Klein, DDS, to recommend fluoridation
–Claude Shannon, grad student and “father of information theory”, presents his designs for digital circuitry at MIT, considered “The most important master’s thesis of all time
–Amelia Earhart disappears on a round-the-world flight, speculation is that she overflew secret war preparations and was forced out of the sky
–Japanese troops take Beijing; Beginning mid-December, six weeks of civilian slaughter follow in Nanjing, known as the Rape of Nanking, killing upwards of 300,000 Chinese
–Lise Meitner, (Meitner’s nephew) Otto Frisch, Otto Hahn and Fritz Strassmann confirm the ‘chain reaction’ of uranium
–animal polio is induced by insulin injections to lower blood sugar, eliminating natural resistance, and introducing experimental poliovirus
–March, the Austrian Anschluss (annexation) by Germany
–DuPont Chemical patents nylon; rival hemp fiber becomes unlawful
–October, OIL discovered in Saudi Arabia after a five-year exploration; concession went to California Arabian Standard Oil (Aramco)
–Selman Waksman takes credit for discovering streptomycin (see Albert Schatz)
–Einstein and Leo Szilard urge FDR to make the atomic bomb; this pair was a working partnership since 1921
–French scientists Joliot-Curie, Perrin and Halban are working jointly with Union Miniere du Haut Katanga (UMHK, Belgian Congo) to build “an experimental [atomic] bomb in the Sahara”; outbreak of war stops the project
September 1, Germany invades Poland and WORLD WAR TWO officially begins
–Gerald J. Cox urges the fluoridating of milk
–President FDR created the Federal Security Agency and transferred the Public Health Service from the Department of the Treasury to the new FSA (until 1953 and the creation of HEW)
–the Medical Society of New York, funded by the New York Foundation*, creates the pre-pay Health Insurance Plan of Greater New York (*NYF est.1909 by an endowment from Louis and Alfred Heinsheimer, nephews of Solomon Loeb [Kuhn, Loeb&Co]; the first grant was given to the Nat’l Com. for Mental Hygiene)
–Nov30, Stalin’s Red Army invades Finland
–WORLD POPULATION at 2,300,000,000
–June, Alexander Sachs purchases uranium for the US Navy from dealer Edgar Sengier; the yellowcake in barrels is sitting in the open on the docks of Staten Island where it remains for two more years, unguarded, until it is bought for the Manhattan Project on orders of Gen. Groves
(under construction)


  1. 1933: HJR 193 signed, US government declared insolvent, banks take ownership of citizens bodies just like they took land ownership 70 years earlier (Ch 11 bankruptcy).

    This is the stuff the freedom movement never talks about but is the basis for what we are experiencing. NOTHING ELSE MATTERS MORE.

    Comment by Doug Plumb — November 8, 2009 @ 2:23 am | Reply

    • “The government owning our bodies” –yes, nothing else matters more. Doug, do you have a good link about what happened in ’33?

      Comment by jenniferlake — November 8, 2009 @ 9:23 pm | Reply

  2. Could you give me more information about this entry:

    “Dr. James Ewing makes a statement at Lake Mohonk conference, “cancer will be the eliminator of the unfit…””

    I am finishing a book that touches on eugenics and am working on a section about cancer that refers to Dr. Ewing and the Lake Mohonk conference, and found your reference to this statement. I am familiar with many of the remarks Ewing made at this conference, but have not been able to find a full text of his presentation. I would appreciate whatever help you can give me.

    Thank you

    Comment by Shea Robison — April 5, 2017 @ 6:16 am | Reply

    • Hello Shea –from memory, this reference was found through Ewing’s work at Memorial Hospital. I’ll have to look through my voluminous notes to be more specific –ususally I do a great deal of ‘context’ reading when I work on the net, and as you probably know, searching all names, places, and events is essential to get at the many variations of sorting by computers –hence the notes! I’ll do what I can.

      Comment by jenniferlake — April 5, 2017 @ 4:53 pm | Reply

      • Thanks. I have been able to find a more complete quote, but I am not secure in the provenance. While I have found different versions of his remarks, I have not yet been able to find a reliable source of this part of his remarks that I can cite, so anything along those lines that you can point me towards would be greatly appreciated. Also, anything you might have about Ewing and eugenics. This was actually not a focus of what I was doing with cancer for my book, which had to do with the American Society for the Control of Cancer as precursor of cancer legislation in the ’30s and ’70s, but it ties in with the main thrust of my book in an unexpected way. Thanks again for whatever you are able to find.

        Comment by Shea Robison — April 10, 2017 @ 7:20 am

      • Shea, I think you’re onto something of crucial importance whether it’s your focus or not, and that’s the medicalization of eugenics as cancer research. I got that idea clearly from Lily Kay and her book Molecular Vision, The Rockefeller Foundation and Caltech (um, almost titled but not quite the second part). Looking at Ewing and the most probable quote which directed you to me:

        “It requires more than average intelligence to accept and act on advice which entails somewhat minute attention to one’s organs. It also entails some time and means. Thus when the means of prevention of cancer become widely known, cancer may become the eliminator of the unwary, the unintelligent, and the unfit.”

        Find it here: and follow some leads or contact the website. Sources from smokershistory are beyond my ken, suggesting lexis-nexis(sp?) and other fee databases. It made me aware of societal connections and deep history that I hadn’t considered. There’s a wealth of information in the Tobacco Documents if you’re following the money.
        More on Ewing, and what interested me about him, was his promotion of radium treatment. I’ve observed something on your prompt concerning the establishment of the ASCC –it occurs the same year as Ewing’s world tour of radium therapy, by the sponsorship of his traveling companion James Douglas. Given his eugenical bent, that adds some credence to the eugenics/cancer relationship. The Mohonk conferences appear to wind down at this point when radium treatment and products become pervasive –also ceasing in wartime during an intense effort to mobilize the use of x-rays. It’s possible that the mission of Mohonk gatherings shifted after WWI, but I don’t know much about this –I’m having new thoughts, new questions, etc.
        Now that I see “1926” as the year I’ve credited Ewing with the quote above, I’m wondering if that is accurate or misleading. The words themselves seem quite appropriate to the source! The timing suggests to me that the gatherings became project oriented, and I believe, intermittent.

        Comment by jenniferlake — April 13, 2017 @ 2:16 pm

      • Jennifer! I have finally tracked down a citable source for this quote, from the ASCC itself no less, though I got more than a little bit lucky, as the snippet view on Google books showed just enough of this to verify ( [I’m not sure why, but I could not post a reply to your reply, so this is coming out of sequence]

        As I said, this connection between cancer and eugenics was not anything I was looking for, I was just trying to put together a mundane history of the public push behind the cancer legislation in America which resulted in the configuration of cancer and cancer research as currently conducted. As I’ve gone, though, I stumbled across Ewing and the others in the ASCC with unanticipated connections with the eugenics movement (e.g., C.C. Little, for one, who is an entire rabbithole in himself in this regard). Like you, I also stumbled across the Ewing, James Douglas, radium connection, which has some disconcerting implications, and the Rockefeller Foundation, etc., in terms of donors and founders for the emergence of the medical-industrial complex [for lack of a better term]. Again, none of this was my focus or intention, but there it was. For the purposes of my book, this information is not particularly relevant, so I am fighting very hard not to let myself go down this particular rabbithole, but there does seem to be a lot of interesting information there. I hope this helps, and thanks for your help on this.

        Comment by Shea Robison — April 13, 2017 @ 3:36 pm

      • Great–good to have a “proper” source (and horse’s mouth) as a veritable primary document. Wow. Maybe this could be your next book!
        For the Record:
        The book I mentioned above is entitled “The Molecular Vision of Life; Caltech, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Rise of the New Biology” by Lily E. Kay, Oxford Univ. Press, 1993
        According to Dr. Kay (in the Acknowledgments), “My interest in molecular biology, the science and its history, go my days at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, Ca.
        (p3)…”As has been well documented, the Rockefeller Foundation served as the principal patron of molecular biology from the 1930s to the 1950s; Caltech, a primary site for implementing the Foundation’s project, became the most influential international center for research and training in molecular biology.
        (p8)…”The motivation behind the enormous investment in the new agenda was to develop the human sciences as a comprehensive explanatory and applied framework of social control grounded in..[the] sciences. Conceived during the late 1920s, the new agenda was articulated in terms of the contemporary technocratic discourse of human engineering, aiming toward an endpoint of restructuring human relations in congruence with the social framework of industrial capitalism… Within that agenda, the new biology (originally named ‘psychobiology’) was erected on the bedrock of the physical sciences in order to rigorously explain and eventually control the fundamental mechanisms governing human behavior, placing a particularly strong emphasis on heredity.
        (p9) …”A concerted physicochemical attack on the gene was initiated at the moment in history when it became unacceptable to advocate social control based on crude eugenic principles and outmoded racial theories.
        (p33) “Not all branches of science were equally relevant to the pressing problem of social control, however. During the 1920s, under the leadership of Wickliffe Rose, the International Educational Board directed its resources to the physical sciences –grants for the rehabilitation of European research centers and travel fellowships for chemists, physicists, and mathematicians. [Raymond] Fosdick [the pres. of RF] however, was critical. Guided in part by Frederick Soddy’s fear of premature use of nuclear fission, Fosdick prophesied doom if the physical sciences proceeded unchecked and the savage was left unrestrained.
        …Fosdick’s ‘old savage’ suffered from what Chicago sociologist William F. Ogburn defined as ‘cultural lag.’ Advisor to the Rockefeller Foundation [RF] and later member of President Hoover’s influential Committee on Social Trends in the United States, Ogburn identified some of the alarming symptoms of social dysfunction –growing divorce rates, delinquency,(p34) crime, mental deficiency, personality difficulties, immigrant assimilation, prostitution, alcoholism, and job instability– as manifestations of cultural lag. They were described as large-scale maladjustments due to society’s inability to adapt to the dislocations of technological change. These problems would be addressed through a science of social control… There was an urgent need for ‘the same kind of fearless engineering in the social field that in the realm of physical science has pushed out so widely the boundaries of human understanding.’ The human sciences –biology, eugenics, and the social sciences– held the reins for taming the savage.”

        Comment by jenniferlake — April 18, 2017 @ 7:03 pm

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