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ASSOCIATE JUSTICE WILLIAM O. DOUGLAS - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 05/20/1963 - HFSID 102470

He sends a typed letter of thanks expressing his regrets that he will not be able to take on a recently proposed assignment Typed Letter signed: "W O Douglas" in blue ink as Associate Justice, 1p, 5¾x9. Washington, D.C., 1963 May 20. On Supreme Court letterhead to Mr.

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WILLIAM O. DOUGLAS
He sends a typed letter of thanks expressing his regrets that he will not be able to take on a recently proposed assignment
Typed Letter signed: "W O Douglas" in blue ink as Associate Justice, 1p, 5¾x9. Washington, D.C., 1963 May 20. On Supreme Court letterhead to Mr. Kenneth Heuer, Editor-in-Chief, Trade Science Department, The Macmillan Company, New York City. The Supreme Court justice is too busy to write a biography of Dr. Robert Oppenheimer. To "Dear Mr. Heuer". In full: "Thank you for your letter of May 16, and for the opportunity to consider doing a biography of Dr. Robert Oppenheimer./ I wish that it were possible for me to take this assignment on. My commitments are already so heavy, however, that in view of the fact that I expect to be out of the country for the entire Summer, it will be impossible for me to accept./ Nevertheless, I appreciate your getting in touch with me in this connection. Yours faithfully". Julius Robert Oppenheimer (1904-1967), a physicist at both the University of California at Berkeley and the California Institute of Technology, was named technical director of the Manhattan Project in June 1942. He later served on the General Advisory Committee to the Atomic Energy Commission (1947-1952) and was director of Princeton's Institute for Advanced Study at the time of this letter (1947-1966). In 1953, at the height of McCarthyism, "the Father of the Atomic Bomb" was charged with having communist sympathies, resulting in the revocation of his security clearance. Justices Douglas and Hugo Black were more concerned over McCarthyism's threat to freedom of speech than the communist threat and, by 1956, the Court began to make anti-communist prosecutions more difficult. WILLIAM ORVILLE DOUGLAS (1898-1980) served as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission from 1937 to 1939, during which time President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed him Associate Justice of the Supreme Court to succeed Louis D. Brandeis. Justice Douglas's service on the Court totaled 36 years and seven months, longer than any other justice up until that point. He retired in November 1975 and died five years later at the age of 81. He was strongly libertarian in his opinions, distrustful of establishments of all types, and considered himself a voice for the voiceless and powerless. KENNETH HEUER, who had written an episode of Studio One in 1948, became Loren Eisley's editor at Scribners and later edited The Lost Notebooks of Loren Eiseley (1987). He also wrote a number of books on astronomy, including Men of Other Planets (1951) and City of the Stargazers (1972). Fine condition.

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