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Letter to Dr. Lyman J. Briggs on His Retirement as Director of the National Bureau of Standards

October 29, 1945

Dear Dr. Briggs:

Your retirement as the Director of the National Bureau of Standards will deprive the nation of the services of an eminent scientist and government administrator. You have well merited the wide recognition which has come to you by virtue of your personal achievements in the field of scientific research and by your competent direction of the Bureau's diversified operations.

I should like to take this occasion to comment on your long and unique record of public service. In World War I, military and naval developments which you sponsored and actively developed were a potent factor in our victory. In the decades of peace thereafter, you guided the Bureau's activities into fruitful channels and added to your own accomplishments, particularly in the then undeveloped field of aerodynamics. As World War II approached, President Roosevelt expressed his confidence in your capabilities by designating you as Chairman of the First Committee on the Investigation of Atomic Energy. The findings and recommendations of that Committee were an important factor in the decision to initiate the vast national effort for developing atomic weapons, and the subsequent discoveries of the National Bureau of Standards contributed greatly to the success of that effort.

Your record has been one of ever-increasing achievement, and you represent an outstanding example of the integrity and competence of government-sponsored science and research. I hope that you will fully enjoy your well-earned retirement, but that your rich fund of knowledge and experience will remain available for the guidance and counsel of those who continue the work of expanding the boundaries of scientific knowledge.

Sincerely yours,


[Dr. Lyman J. Briggs, Director, National Bureau of Standards, Washington, D.C.]

Harry S Truman, Letter to Dr. Lyman J. Briggs on His Retirement as Director of the National Bureau of Standards Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/230551

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