Pope Pius XII pleas in vain

February 11, 1953: Pope Pius XII had appealed for clemency to President Dwight D. Eisenhower on behalf of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg, the husband and wife who passed secrets regarding the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union during and after the World War. They were convicted of espionage on March 29, 1951, and on April 5 they were both sentenced to death by Judge Irving Kaufman.

Their death sentence is controversial, as other Soviet spies, for example Harry Gold and Klaus Fuchs, have only received long prison terms. Ethel Rosenberg's brother, David Greenglass, was sentenced to prison for 15 years, in exchange for testifying against his sister.

The Rosenbergs are scheduled to be executed on June 19, 1953.

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Julius and Ethel Rosenberg

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American James Watson and Englishman Francis Crick
- Rivals of Linus Pauling?

February 28, 1953: Scientists have been seeking to discover the "genetic master molecule" for many years, but the race is really starting to heat up now, as American scientist Linus Pauling has just been informed he has competition - so our correspondent from England tells us. Pauling, who first thought that proteins would provide the solution, began pursuing the structure of DNA (Deoxyribonucleic acid) in earnest in 1952.

On December 31, 1952, Pauling and his associate Dr. Corey sent in their paper, "A Proposed Structure for the Nucleic Acids," to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, in which Pauling claimed that DNA was a three-stranded structure with the phosphates on the inside.

The young students in England disagree, our correspondent tells us. When they received Pauling's paper they could see it was flawed - we will not go into those details here. On February 28, 1953, the jubilant youths entered the Eagle Pub and told the regulars there that they had discovered "the secret of life." They postulate that the structure of DNA is actually a double helix.

They are currently working on a model of this double helix, and their paper on the subject can be expected to be published soon. Meantime, Linus Pauling will surely defend his own theory.


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John Putnam, Astronomer

Last month Sand Rock welcomed a new inhabitant, astronomer John Putnam, who's renting the Campbell place just outside of town.

Mr. Putnam has joined the faculty at the University and he's quite popular with his students. We hear he's also quite a hit with a certain teacher at the local high school, as well!

Mr. Putnam has joined with the town council to request a planetarium be built adjacent to our local library. He's also founded an astronomy club.

The skies around Sand Rock are crystal clear," Mr. Putnam says enthusiastically. "With even the cheapest of telescopes, you can see marvelous features of the moon, the planets and the stars."

Let's all watch the skies with our new astronomer!

Disaster has occurred in the Netherlands, thanks to the deadly combination of the spring tide and a northwesterly storm. On the night of January 31, morning of February 1, several dikes in the provinces of Zeeland, Zuid-Holland and Noord-Brabant were flooded.

This flooding of islands and polders killed 1,835 people and forced the emergency evacuation of 70,000 more. An estimated 10,000 animals drowned, and 4,500 buildings were destroyed. The waters covered 9% of Dutch farmland, and sea water inundated 800 square miles of polders. Total damage was estimated at 895 million Dutch guilders. Because none of the local radio stations broadcast at night, and many of the smaller weather stations operated only during the day, warnings did not reach the affected areas in time. Telephone and telegraph networks were disrupted. Amateur radio operators have gone into the affected areas with their home-made radio equipment to form a voluntary emergency radio network.


Russia breaks off diplomatic relations with Israel
February 9, 1953: A bomb exploded outside the Soviet legation in Tel Aviv, injuring three Soviets, including the wife of Ambassador Yershov. In response, the Soviet government has broken off diplomatic ties.

Korean War news
February 11, 1953: General Maxwell Taylor has taken command of Eighth Army. On February 22, 1953, General Mark Clark, following up a Red Cross proposal, called for an exchange of sick and wounded prisoners, but received no response from the North Koreans.

Movies in February
Disney's Peter Pan opens at the Roxy
in New York

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Several motion pictures made their debut during the month of February, including The Tall Texan, starring Lloyd Bridges, Salome starring Rita Hayworth and Stewart Granger, and Kansas Pacific starring Sterling Hayden.

Christine Jorgensen

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February 12, 1953: Christine Jorgensen has returned to the United States.

Our readers are doubtless familiar with this story. George Jorgensen, who served his country during World War II and was honorably discharged, underwent a sex-change operation in Sweden. The news of the successful operation was announced on December 1, 1952.


Last month we reported that our own Kay Lawrence was on her way to Brazil, as chief research assistant to Mr. Mark Williams, who is head of the Marine Biology Institute there. They are conducting research in the coastal city of Manaos, and Miss Lawrence has agreed to send us news of their discoveries, and perhaps a few travelogues of the country, as well. Thank you, Kay Lawrence!

Lineman for the County, written by our local playwright, Frank Daylon, is in production at the Bradbury Community Theater. It's the touching story of the travails of a lineman for the county. Frank has drawn on his twenty years of experience as a lineman to create this fine work.

Performances will continue through February so don't miss it!

Go back to the January issue of The Sand Rock Sentinel.
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