Memoirs: A Twentieth-Century Journey in Science and Politics

By Edward Teller; Judith L. Shoolery | Go to book overview

13
FIRST YEARS IN
THE UNITED STATES
1935-1941

THE GEORGE WASHINGTON University, today as then, is a city university without a large campus, similar in setting to University College, London. In September 1935, it consisted of a few buildings that occupied not much more than a square block, a short distance west of the White House.

We had sailed from England to New York, and one of our fellow passengers was Hans Bethe. Soon after our arrival, I saw Geo Gamow. The New World was not a completely foreign place; physics, a large part of my existence, had come with me, and so had Mici. But I knew I was going to miss my second set of friends even more than I had missed my friends when I left Budapest.

On our arrival, we moved into a small hotel on Franklin Square between Thirteenth and Fourteenth streets. The hotel was less admirable than the square, which was full of squirrels. Half a century of time has not been kind to the area. My salary was more than twice as much as I had earned in England, and because that munificent sum was paid for nine months' work (leaving me the summer for my own pursuits), I had a comfortable situation. 1 Mici and I felt that we were well on our way to becoming a prosperous, established married couple.

Within a few weeks of our arrival, Mici found a furnished house on Garfield Street, near Connecticut Avenue, at a bargain price. Part of the reason for the

____________________
1
I made $5,000 per year as opposed to about $2,000 in England and $1,000 per year in Göttingen. In those days, a very nice lunch in a restaurant cost about fifty cents, so my salary was indeed generous.

-122-

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