|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.
Julius and Ethel Rosenberg
|THE RACE FOR DNA HEATS UP IN ENGLAND|
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.