Political Talk and “Reward” – David Hammer – United Kingdom 1964

I was at the University of Leeds as an MSc Physics student. The Fulbright office in London contacted me about giving a talk in the Sheffield area about the American Presidential Election that was soon to come in 1964. I accepted the opportunity and was invited to spend the night at the home of the organizer, whose family owned a pretty big dairy farm with open pasture land. My talk was in the evening as I recall, and was dominated by questions that were about Barry Goldwater’s positions vs Lynden Johnson’s positions on many issues. The next morning (again as I recall), we took a walk around the farm and I was told that the M1 would soon be built through their property, and so there would be tunnels under the road for their livestock to go from one part of the land to the other. They weren’t happy about that but by the time I visited, they had accepted it as “coming soon.”

The reward to which I referred is that I kept in touch with the Fulbright office in London during the rest of my stay in the UK, at the end of which they told me that I would be sharing a stateroom on the way home on the Queen Mary with Robin Wilson, the son of Prime Minister Wilson. That did, indeed, make the return home interesting.

I am still in touch with two American Fulbright students from my year, Alva (Wright) Butcher and Charles Stevenson, and I checked up on Robin Wilson a few years ago and at that time, he was still active at the University of London as a Mathematics Professor. I am still active as a professor at Cornell.

David Hammer – Fulbright to the United Kingdom 1964

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