There was a need for higher energies than were possible in the mightiest particle accelerators of the early 1960s, at Brookhaven in New York and at CERN in Geneva, Switzerland. In 1962-63 an Atomic Energy Commission panel endorsed "prompt construction of a 200 GeV proton accelerator." Simultaneously an idea emerged in 1963 from Leon M. Lederman of Columbia University for a "Truly National Laboratory" to expand participation in national facilities beyond regional use. Led by representatives of 34 of the major US research universities, Universities Research Association, Inc. steered the recommendation through the highest levels of government while coordinating a site selection process with the National Academy of Sciences. More than two hundred sites from forty-six states were proposed. In December 1966, Weston, Illinois was announced the winner of "the scientific prize of the century" and thus, the 200 GeV Accelerator was born.
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