Letter Requesting a Study of the Alaskan Earthquake by the Special Assistant to the President for Science and Technology.
[ Released May 4, 1964. Dated May 2, 1964 ]
Dear Dr. Hornig:
It is important we learn as many lessons as possible from the disastrous Alaskan earthquake. A scientific understanding of the events that occurred may make it possible to anticipate future earthquakes, there and elsewhere, so as to cope with them more adequately.
I, therefore, request that your office undertake to assemble a comprehensive scientific and technical account of the Alaskan earthquake and its effects. To insure an integrated approach to the collection and evaluation of the information, the scientific work of the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Air Force, the Corps of Engineers and such other agencies as are involved should be coordinated by your office. As you know, the early engineering work related to reconstruction is being coordinated by the Federal Reconstruction and Development Planning Commission for Alaska. In order to learn the most, the scientific effort should be carried out as soon as practicable.
In defining the scientific and technical questions involved and the related informational requirements for collection and assessment, I hope that you will be able to enlist the aid of the National Academy of Sciences.
The scientific and engineering information acquired as a result of this activity should be made available to assist the efforts of the Federal Reconstruction and Development Planning Commission, and your office should be available to provide such other technical assistance to the Commission as you feel appropriate. This information should, of course, also be provided to the Director of the Office of Emergency Planning and other government agencies having reconstruction responsibilities in Alaska. Your office should coordinate its activities with the Commission, taking full advantage of its field activities and of the information being acquired for use in the early reconstruction phase.
The foregoing activities of your office should be carried out in consultation with the other agencies which have specific responsibilities for Federal operations in Alaska during the emergency period.
LYNDON B. JOHNSON
[Honorable Donald F. Hornig, Special Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, The White House, Washington, D.C.]
Lyndon B. Johnson, Letter Requesting a Study of the Alaskan Earthquake by the Special Assistant to the President for Science and Technology. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/238958