[Daily article] December 29: Montreal Laboratory

The Montreal Laboratory in Montreal, Canada, was established by the
National Research Council of Canada during World War II to undertake
nuclear research in collaboration with the United Kingdom. After the
Fall of France, some French scientists escaped to Britain with their
stock of heavy water, and joined the British Tube Alloys project to
build an atomic bomb. In 1942, it was decided to relocate the work to
Canada. The Montreal Laboratory was established in a house belonging to
McGill University, but moved to the Université de Montréal in March
1943. The first laboratory staff arrived at the end of 1942. John
Cockcroft became director in May 1944. In August 1943, Mackenzie King,
Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill (pictured) negotiated the
Quebec Agreement, which merged Tube Alloys with the Manhattan Project.
Work moved to the Chalk River Laboratories, which opened in 1944, and
the Montreal Laboratory was closed in July 1946. Two reactors were built
at Chalk River: the small ZEEP, which went critical in September 1945,
and the larger NRX, which followed in July 1947, and was for a time the
most powerful research reactor in the world.

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Today’s selected anniversaries:


Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Becket was slain in his own
cathedral by four knights of Henry II of England.


American Revolutionary War: British soldiers under the command
of Lieutenant Colonel Archibald Campbell captured Savannah, Georgia.


Physical education teacher James Naismith introduced a game in
Springfield, Massachusetts, with thirteen rules and nine players on each
team that he called “Basket Ball”.


Sun Yat-sen was elected in Nanjing as the Provisional President
of the Republic of China.


Physicist Richard Feynman gave a speech entitled “There’s
Plenty of Room at the Bottom”, which is considered the birth of


The Tian Tan Buddha, at the time the world’s tallest outdoor
bronze statue of the seated Buddha, was completed.

Wiktionary’s word of the day:

writing on the wall:
An ominous warning; a prediction of bad luck.

Wikiquote quote of the day:

  Men learn little from others’ experience. But in the life of one
man, never The same time returns. Sever The cord, shed the scale. Only
The fool, fixed in his folly, may think He can turn the wheel on which
he turns.  
–T. S. Eliot

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