MB: I wanted to get squared away on the sequence of your movement toward a Ph.D. because it was interrupted during the war. Did you finish your course work before you were called into service as a civilian employee of the government? How did that work?
RM: Yes. I finished all of my course work and my exams in the Spring of 1942. I did it prematurely. Right after Pearl Harbor, Roy Nichols came around to all the American History graduate students with his date book, and he just told us when we were going to take our exams. The idea was to get us all through before we were called into service. So it was a rather tough experience, accelerating my preparation, but it all went off well.
MB: What happened when you got through the orals? Did you know that you would be moving on to some form of service?
RM: Not for sure. I had, right after Pearl Harbor, applied for a commission in the Navy, and I passed my preliminary physical and everything seemed to be in order. But then weeks or months later (I forget what) when I was called up for my second physical, I was turned down. So that I was not to go into the Navy. Subsequently, I was also turned down for my Army physical and was classified as 4–F. It looked like I was not going to be in the service. [At this point] Professor Nichols brought to my attention a job writing History at
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Publication information: Book title: McCormick of Rutgers:Scholar, Teacher, Public Historian. Contributors: Michael J. Birkner - Author. Publisher: Greenwood Press. Place of publication: Westport, CT. Publication year: 2001. Page number: 61.
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