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These records are the official minutes of the Board. They are compiled at the direction of the Secretary of the Smithsonian, who is also secretary to the Board, after
approval by the Regents' Executive Committee and by the Regents themselves. The minutes are edited, not a verbatim account of proceedings. For reasons unknown, there are no
manuscript minutes for the period from 1857 through 1890; and researchers must rely on printed minutes published in the Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution instead.
Minutes are transferred regularly from the Secretary's Office to the Archives. Minutes less than 15 years old are closed to researchers. Indexes exist for the period from
1907 to 1946 and can be useful.
The Smithsonian Institution was created by authority of an Act of Congress approved August 10, 1846. The Act entrusted direction of the Smithsonian to a body called
the Establishment, composed of the President; the Vice President; the Chief Justice of the United States; the secretaries of State, War, Navy, Interior, and Agriculture; the
Attorney General; and the Postmaster General. In fact, however, the Establishment last met in 1877, and control of the Smithsonian has always been exercised by its Board of
Regents. The membership of the Regents consists of the Vice President and the Chief Justice of the United States; three members each of the Senate and House of Representatives;
two citizens of the District of Columbia; and seven citizens of the several states, no two from the same state. (Prior to 1970 the category of Citizen Regents not residents
of Washington consisted of four members). By custom the Chief Justice is Chancellor. The office was at first held by the Vice President. However, when Millard Fillmore succeeded
to the presidency on the death of Zachary Taylor in 1851, Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney was chosen in his stead. The office has always been filled by the Chief Justice
since that time.
The Regents of the Smithsonian have included distinguished Americans from many walks of life. Ex officio members (Vice President) have been: Spiro T. Agnew, Chester A.
Arthur, Allen W. Barkley, John C. Breckenridge, George Bush, Schuyler Colfax, Calvin Coolidge, Charles Curtis, George M. Dallas, Charles G. Dawes, Charles W. Fairbanks, Millard
Fillmore, Gerald R. Ford, John N. Garner, Hannibal Hamlin, Thomas A. Hendricks, Garret A. Hobart, Hubert H. Humphrey, Andrew Johnson, Lyndon B. Johnson, William R. King, Thomas
R. Marshall, Walter F. Mondale, Levi P. Morton, Richard M. Nixon, Nelson A. Rockefeller, Theodore Roosevelt, James S. Sherman, Adlai E. Stevenson, Harry S. Truman, Henry A.
Wallace, William A. Wheeler, Henry Wilson.
Ex officio members (Chief Justice) have been: Roger B. Taney, Salmon P. Chase, Nathan Clifford, Morrison R. Waite, Samuel F. Miller, Melville W. Fuller, Edward D. White,
William Howard Taft, Charles Evans Hughes, Harlan F. Stone, Fred M. Vinson, Earl Warren, Warren E. Burger.
Regents on the part of the Senate have been: Clinton P. Anderson, Newton Booth, Sidney Breese, Lewis Cass, Robert Milledge Charlton, Bennet Champ Clark, Francis M. Cockrell,
Shelby Moore Cullom, Garrett Davis, Jefferson Davis, George Franklin Edmunds, George Evans, Edwin J. Garn, Walter F. George, Barry Goldwater, George Gray, Hannibal Hamlin,
Nathaniel Peter Hill, George Frisbie Hoar, Henry French Hollis, Henry M. Jackson, William Lindsay, Henry Cabot Lodge, Medill McCormick, James Murray Mason, Samuel Bell Maxey,
Robert B. Morgan, Frank E. Moss, Claiborne Pell, George Wharton Pepper, David A. Reed, Leverett Saltonstall, Hugh Scott, Alexander H. Smith, Robert A. Taft, Lyman Trumbull,
Wallace H. White, Jr., Robert Enoch Withers.
Regents on the part of the House of Representatives have included: Edward P. Boland, Frank T. Bow, William Campbell Breckenridge, Overton Brooks, Benjamin Butterworth,
Clarence Cannon, Lucius Cartrell, Hiester Clymer, William Colcock, William P. Cole, Jr., Maurice Connolly, Silvio O. Conte, Edward E. Cox, Edward H. Crump, John Dalzell, Nathaniel
Deering, Hugh A. Dinsmore, William English, John Farnsworth, Scott Ferris, Graham Fitch, James Garfield, Charles L. Gifford, T. Alan Goldsborough, Frank L. Greene, Gerry Hazleton,
Benjamin Hill, Henry Hilliard, Ebenezer Hoar, William Hough, William M. Howard, Albert Johnson, Leroy Johnson, Joseph Johnston, Michael Kirwan, James T. Lloyd, Robert Luce,
Robert McClelland, Samuel K. McConnell, Jr., George H. Mahon, George McCrary, Edward McPherson, James R. Mann, George Perkins Marsh, Norman Y. Mineta, A. J. Monteague, R.
Walton Moore, Walter H. Newton, Robert Dale Owen, James Patterson, William Phelps, Luke Poland, John Van Schaick Lansing Pruyn, B. Carroll Reece, Ernest W. Roberts, Otho Robards
Singleton, Frank Thompson, Jr., John M. Vorys, Hiram Warner, Joseph Wheeler.
Citizen Regents have been: David C. Acheson, Louis Agassiz, James B. Angell, Anne L. Armstrong, William Backhouse Astor, J. Paul Austin, Alexander Dallas Bache, George
Edmund Badger, George Bancroft, Alexander Graham Bell, James Gabriel Berrett, John McPherson Berrien, Robert W. Bingham, Sayles Jenks Bowen, William G. Bowen, Robert S. Brookings,
John Nicholas Brown, William A. M. Burden, Vannevar Bush, Charles F. Choate, Jr., Rufus Choate, Arthur H. Compton, Henry David Cooke, Henry Coppee, Samuel Sullivan Cox, Edward
H. Crump, James Dwight Dana, Harvey N. Davis, William Lewis Dayton, Everette Lee Degolyer, Richard Delafield, Frederic A. Delano, Charles Devens, Matthew Gault Emery, Cornelius
Conway Felton, Robert V. Fleming, Murray Gell-Mann, Robert F. Goheen, Asa Gray, George Gray, Crawford Hallock Greenwalt, Nancy Hanks, Caryl Parker Haskins, Gideon Hawley,
John B. Henderson, John B. Henderson, Jr., A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., Gardner Greene Hubbard, Charles Evans Hughes, Carlisle H. Humelsine, Jerome C. Hunsaker, William Preston
Johnston, Irwin B. Laughlin, Walter Lenox, Augustus P. Loring, John Maclean, William Beans Magruder, John Walker Maury, Montgomery Cunningham Meigs, John C. Merriam, R. Walton
Moore, Roland S. Morris, Dwight W. Morrow, Richard Olney, Peter Parker, Noah Porter, William Campbell Preston, Owen Josephus Roberts, Richard Rush, William Winston Seaton,
Alexander Roby Shepherd, William Tecumseh Sherman, Otho Robards Singleton, Joseph Gilbert Totten, John Thomas Towers, Frederic C. Walcott, Richard Wallach, Thomas J. Watson,
Jr., James E. Webb, James Clarke Welling, Andrew Dickson White, Henry White, Theodore Dwight Woolsey.
Until the death of the Donor, SIA will notify the Donor prior to, or within 7 days after, the materials have been accessed for research, Transferring office; 9/5/2007 Deed of Gift; Contact reference staff for details.
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 16-376, David H. DeVorkin Papers
This collection consists of digital scans of photographic prints and negatives from a Haas family scrapbook, including all the pages of album plus details of 70 selected individual images; and the front and back of a postcard found loose in the photo album.
Biographical / Historical:
Emma Phoebe Waterman was born at Fort Totten in the Dakota Territory (now North Dakota) in 1882. Her father, John Charles Waterman, commissioned in the U.S. Cavalry, had been sent to Fort Totten after General Custer's failure at Little Big Horn. As a teenager, her parents wanted Phoebe to receive a better education, so they sent her to live with her father's family in Michigan so she could attend high school. She continued her education at Vassar, earning a BA (1904) and MA (1906) in mathematics and astronomy. After graduation, she traveled to the Philippines with her father. Upon her return, she was employed as a computer at the Mount Wilson Observatory in Pasadena, California. Working with several highly respected astronomers ignited her passion to follow her dreams of being one as well. In 1911, she applied and was accepted into the doctoral program at University of California - Berkley. She was awarded a Ph.D. in astronomy in 1913, becoming one of the first of two women to do so.
Shortly after being awarded her Ph.D., Phoebe was appointed as an assistant to the Argentine National Observatory in Cordoba, Argentina. While on the ship to Buenos Aires, she met Otto Haas; they married in February 1914. Phoebe put her astronomy dreams on hold while she supported her husband's business and took care of their family. Despite her commitment to her family, Phoebe never lost her passion for astronomy. Through the suggestions of others, she volunteered with the American Association of Variable Star Observers (AAVSO). In 1927, through the assistance of Leon Campbell, recorder for AAVSO at Harvard Observatory, Phoebe purchased a Clark telescope from the Cranis estate. She used this telescope to make 338 observations between 1928 and 1933.
Thomas Haas, Gift, 2015
No restrictions on access.
Dr. Harold F. Stimson, described as a long-time friend of Goddard's, corresponded with Esther Goddard and collected a number of press clippings and other mentions of Dr. Goddard in various publications. This collection consists of the materials he gathered including a copy of the article "The Early History of Rocket Research" by Joseph W. Siry (reprinted from the November/December 1950 issue of The Scientific Monthly) signed by Esther Goddard; a program from the dedication of the Goddard Power Plant in Indian Head, Maryland dated June 25, 1957; eight issues of Report from Clark University (ranging in date from October 1965 to May 1969) with articles about the Robert Hutchings Goddard Library or the University's collection of Goddard's papers; correspondence relating to the establishment of a memorial to Goddard on Clark University's campus; a program for the groundbreaking ceremony for the Robert Hutchings Goddard Library dated June 4, 1966; a brochure for the library and a bookslip from one of their publications; three issues of the library's newsletters (ranging in date from March 1966 to spring 1971); Clark University's Report of the President 1964-1965 which includes an update on the Goddard Library program; the program from Clark University's Robert Hutchings Goddard Commemorative Convocation on October 12, 1966; a Clark University fundraising report from 1971-1972 listing Mrs. Robert H. Goddard as a donor; a typewritten report on the Goddard Rocket Research Exhibit at Clark's Department of Physics; the winter 1971 issue of Clark Now: The Magazine of Clark University which contains mentions of the Goddard Library; five typewritten pages of biographical data on Dr. Goddard; a Christmas card and signed photo of Esther Goddard inscribed to the Stimsons; and 17 clippings from various newspapers that mention either Robert or Esther Goddard (ranging in date from 1959-1982).
Biographical / Historical:
Robert Hutchings Goddard (1882-1945), rocket propulsion pioneer, graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1908 and received his doctorate while a professor of physics at Clark University. He served a research fellowship with Princeton University from 1912 to 1914 and there began to develop his theories of rocket action. Returning to Clark, he conducted experiments that culminated in a 1916 report to the Smithsonian Institution, published as A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes. With the advent of World War I, Goddard began work at the Mount Wilson Observatory of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, developing various innovations such as reloading mechanisms for artillery and a forerunner of the bazooka. By 1920, Goddard had turned his attention to liquid fueled rockets and by 1926 had accomplished the world's first flight of a liquid fuel rocket. In 1930, Goddard moved to Mescalero Ranch near Roswell, New Mexico, continuing with his rocket experiments until 1932. After a return to Clark and laboratory testing, Goddard came back to Roswell and in 1936 published Liquid Propellant Rocket Development. In 1940 he was made Chief of Navy Research on jet-propelled planes.
Julia Appel, Gift, Unknown
No restrictions on access.