Fermilab History and Archives Project

NAL Groundbreaking, December 1, 1968

Return to the Wilson Years



We, at the National Accelerator Laboratory, cordially invite you to attend the Ground Breaking for the First Permanent Building of the National Accelerator Laboratory to house the 200 MeV Linear Accelerator for the 200 BeV Accelerator Facility on Sunday, December 1, 1968, at 2:00 p.m.

Robert Rathbun Wilson

Reception and Open House at the
Laboratory Village: 3:30-5:00 p.m.

Please reply on
the enclosed card




Batavia, Ill.--Groundbreaking will be held Sunday, December 1, 1968, near here for the first permanent building in the research complex of the National Accelerator Laboratory (NAL) where the 200 Billion Electron Volt (BeV) accelerator will be located.

The National Accelerator Laboratory is operated for the United States Atomic Energy Commission by the Universities Research Association, Inc., which is an organization of 47 universities in the United States and one in Canada.

"We are committed to build this Laboratory in five years and this groundbreaking signifies that we are really in business and on schedule," said Dr. Robert Rathbun Wilson, the Director, in announcing the program.

Dr. Glenn T. Seaborg, Nobel laureate chemist and chairman of the U. S. Atomic Energy Commission, will be the principal speaker at the groundbreaking. AEC Commissioners James T. Ramey and Dr. Gerald F. Tape also will speak. Congressman Melvin H. Price, of Illinois, a member of the Joint Congressional Committee on Atomic Energy, and Dr. Norman F. Ramsey, President of the Universities Research Association, Inc, also will be featured in the program.

The National Accelerator Laboratory will be the home of the world's most powerful proton accelerator. It is being developed on a 6,800-acre site in the Fox River Valley region about 30 miles west of Chicago near the town of Batavia, Illinois. The facility will cost approximately $250,000,000 plus experimental equipment outlays. Approximately 2,000 people will ultimately work at the Laboratory which will be a national facility available to qualified scientists on an international basis.

NAL's first permanent building will house a linear accelerator, or Linac, which will serve as part of the 200 Billion Electron Volt Proton Accelerator to be built on the NAL grounds. The Linac will give the protons a boost in energy that will take them to 200 Million Electron Volts, one-thousandth of their ultimate energy in the NAL accelerator system.

Dr. Donald E. Young, who is in charge of the NAL Linac design, noted that no proton linear accelerator of an energy as large as 200 MeV has been operated as yet. "Its principles are well established," he said. "A 200 MeV proton linear accelerator is now being constructed as a new injector for the Alternating Gradient Synchrotron at the Brookhaven National Laboratory in New York." At present, a 100 Million Electron Volt proton linear accelerator, which is the injector for the 76 BeV proton accelerator at the Serpukhov Laboratory in the Soviet Union, is the highest energy proton linear accelerator in the world.

Dr. Young, who received his doctorate in physics at the University of Minnesota in 1959, helped to construct the 68 Million Electron Volt linear accelerator there. Prior to his appointment at NAL, he was a professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Philip V. Livdahl, formerly of the Argonne National Laboratory, is in charge of liaison activities with the architect-engineers developing plans for the Linac Building.

The Linac will be built near the western boundary of the NAL site in DuPage and Kane counties. The property is being acquired for the U. S. Atomic Energy Commission by the State of Illinois. The Linac will be situated north of the intersections of Giese and Kautz roads, in Kane county.

It is expected that the Linac Building will take about 14 months to complete. The building will be approximately 500 feet long and 63 feet wide and will have an exterior of pre-cast concrete and glass. The building has been designed by DUSAF, a joint venture serving as architect-engineer-construction manager for the National Acclerator Laboratory. John Baird and William Powers, of the DUSAF staff, have been associated with Dr. Young and Mr. Livdahl in developing plans and specifications for the Linac structure.

Plans for the groundbreaking ceremony are being arranged under the direction of Dr. M. Stanley Livingston, Associate Director of the Laboratory. Representatives of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, the Universities Research Association, Inc., Federal, State, and local officials, as well as members of the high energy physics community will take part in the ceremony.

Linac Model
View of the model of the Linac building, Dec. 1968

The Linac Building will house the first two of four separate NAL accelerators, each of which will come into play sequentially as protons are accelerated from rest to an energy of 200 Billion Electron Volts.

The four accelerators will play the following roles:

  1. In what is called a pre-accelerator providing the first stage of acceleration, hydrogen atoms first are stripped of their electrons in an electrical discharge. The remaining positively charged protons, which had formed the nuclei of the hydrogen atoms, are accelerated by a 750 kilovolt electric field, and gain an energy of 750 thousand electron volts (KeV).
  2. Protons are then accelerated from 750 KeV to an energy of 200 MeV in the linear accelerator, or Linac, which is approximately 500 feet long. This is the second stage of acceleration.
  3. At 200 MeV, protons are injected into a booster accelerator, the third stage in the process, which carries them to an energy of 10 BeV. The booster is a rapid-cycling synchrotron approximately 500 feet in diameter.
  4. At 10 BeV, the protons are injected into the main accelerator, a synchrotron of 6,562 feet (1.24 miles) diameter and accelerated in this final stage to full energy. Initially, this energy will be 200 BeV, but more power supplies can be added later to increase the accelerator's peak energy to 400 BeV, or possibly to 500, BeV. After reaching maximum energy, the protons then are extracted and transported to experimental areas.

It is expected that the first 200 BeV beam of particles will be extracted from the main accelerator by the end of June, 1972.

The groundbreaking will be held less than two years after the selection of the site near Batavia was announced.

# # #


The Schless Construction Company, Inc., of Batavia, Illinois, has been awarded the contract for construction of the Linear Accelerator enclosure for the National Accelerator Laboratory at the site of the 200 BeV particle accelerator near Batavia.

The Schless firm has moved its equipment into the Linac site, where groudbreaking ceremonies are to be held Sunday, December 1, 1968.

John Trommershausser, manager, administration and finance of DUSAF, the joint venture concerned with architect-engineer requirements for the Laboratory, said that bids for construction were received from 12 general contractors. The bids, he said, ranged from a high of $2,672,365 to the Schless low bid of $1,818,000.

The Schless Construction Company was founded in 1925. It is headed by Robert M. Schless, son of the founder.


Today's groundbreaking ceremony initiates construction of the first of the permanent buildings in the research complex of the National Accelerator Laboratory.

The program for the groundbreaking ceremony
The program for the groundbreaking ceremony

This building will house the Linear Accelerator, or Linac, which will serve as an important component of the 200 Billion Electron Volt Accelerator to be built on the 6,800-acre NAL site in DuPage and Kane Counties of Illinois. The Linac gives the protons the first boosts in energy and will take them to 200 Million Electron Volts, one-thousandth of their ultimate energy in the NAL Accelerator System.

The National Accelerator Laboratory will be the home of the world's most powerful proton accelerator. It is expected that the first 200 BeV beam of particles will be extracted from the main accelerator by the end of June, 1972.

The National Accelerator Laboratory is operated by the Universities Research Association, Inc., for the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.


From 2:30 p.m. at the Linac Site


Robert R. Wilson, Director, National Accelerator Laboratory


Norman F. Ramsey
Norman F. Ramsey
, President of URA,
speaking at the Groundbreaking ceremony for the NAL Linac

James T. Ramey, Commissioner, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, Washington, D.C.

Norman F. Ramsey, President, Universities Research Association, Inc., Higgins Professor of Physics, Harvard University

James R. Sanford, Brookhaven National Laboratory; Chairman, N.A.L. Users' Organization

Gerald F. Tape, Commissioner, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, Washington, D.C.

The Hon. Melvin H. Price, Member of Congress from Illinois; Member of the Joint Congressional Committee on Atomic Energy

Robert R. Wilson
Robert R. Wilson, Director NAL,
welcoming guests at the Linac Groundbreaking ceremonies


Glenn T. Seaborg, Chairman, U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, Washington, D.C.

Robert R. Wilson

From 3:15 to 5 p.m. at N.A.L. Village:

After the ceremony at the groundbreaking site, guests are invited to return to the Laboratory Village for an Open House and Reception.

The Laboratory wishes to thank the Directors and the members of the Marmion Military Academy and the Batavia High School bands for their participation in the ceremonies.

Batavia High School Marching Band
The Batavia High School band performed at the NAL Groundbreaking ceremony


Glenn T. Seaborg

This is a very exciting and meaningful day for all of us gathered here. With this ground-breaking ceremony we move one step closer to the realization of a great new scientific enterprise - a national laboratory that will help man to advance significantly into new frontiers of knowledge. Symbolically, we could say that the spade that breaks ground on this site today begins our deepest penetration yet into the mysteries of the physical forces that comprise our universe.

Since this is an historic event perhaps it is appropriate that we recall some of the historical developments that have culminated in this ground-breaking ceremony here today. When we reflect upon the relatively short history of high energy physics, there can be no doubt that the development of this important area of fundamental scientific research has been astounding in terms of productivity and growth. Only a little more than twenty years ago plans were initiated for constructing accelerators in the billion volt range. These early plans materialized in the Cosmotron at Brookhaven and the Bevatron at Berkeley; both truly prodigious in their contributions to the field. As time went on other excellent machines and facilities were designed and built, and their exploitation has assured the solid growth and progress of high energy physics. This strong dependence upon large, complex, and costly machines inevitably brought wide national attention to the field.

Throughout the history of the 200 BeV Accelerator project the interest and encouragement given by the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy has been crucial. The Committee's concern for scientific progress, along with essential program economies, provided a firm foundation from which to move ahead with the project. In its report for Fisca1 Year 1965, the Committee strongly urged that the Atomic Energy Commission take the lead in developing a national policy for the high energy physics programs. The Commission responded by developing the document entitled "Policy for National Action in the Field of High Energy Physics," transmitted to the President and then by him to the Joint Committee on Atomic Energy in January 1965. The policy for this field of research had been evolving over a period of years, marked by a series of studies and reports beginning in 1954.

Robert R. Wilson (l) and Glenn Seaborg (r) at the NAL Groundbreaking
Robert R. Wilson (l) and Glenn Seaborg (r) at the NAL Groundbreaking

All of these studies contributed to the formulation of the document prepared by the AEC; indeed the text of each of these reports is embodied in that policy document. After the Joint Committee received the policy statement from the President its Subcommittee on Research, Development and Radiation under the chairmanship of Mel Price held a weeklong series of hearings in March of 1965 on the status and achievements of high energy physics, including discussions of the 200 BeV Accelerator and the policy document.

Let me read to you a portion of the document:

"Proton energy is the single most important parameter to be extended. . ."

"There are now clear needs for a proton machine following the conventional alternating gradient synchrotron (AGS) design but having an energy of hundreds of BeV. These needs can best be met by the immediate design and construction of an AGS in the 200 BeV range. . ."

The Lawrence Radiation Laboratory of the University of California spent two intensive design years on an accelerator in this range, and in April of 1965 the Commission began one of its longest, most interesting, and certainly most difficult tasks - the selection of the most appropriate site in the United States for a 200 BeV proton accelerator. Site criteria for such a national laboratory for basic research were issued, based on the studies done by the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory. The avalanche of site proposals began, and for the next twenty months the Commission, its staff and a select committee, appointed by the National Academy of Sciences and headed by Dr. Emmanuel Piore, wrestled with the detailed evaluation of 126 proposals that included well over 200 sites in forty-six states.

Tents used to shelter guests at the groundbreaking
Tents used to shelter guests at the groundbreaking

On-site visits by inspection teams were made to the nearly 150 sites that met the basic criteria, and by March 1966 the National Academy of Sciences Site, Selection Committee recommended to the Commission six areas - actually seven different sites. Two sites were in the Chicago area.

On December 16, 1966, the Commission, after many meetings and intensive review of all the material on the recommended sites unanimously selected this site for the 200 BeV Accelerator. It was a busy day - and there have been some busy days since then.

Meanwhile, another very important aspect of the new project was under consideration; namely the management of the project. From the beginning it was understood that the 200 BeV Accelerator would be a national facility available to all, on the basis of scientific merit. It was also clear from the outset that the management of the facility must have national orientation and representation.

It was not at all clear, however, how this was to be accomplished. Many discussions were held on this matter. Early in 1965 Dr. Frederick Seitz, after consultations with the Office of Science and Technology, the AEC, and the National Science Foundation, called together representatives from universities most directly concerned with high energy physics in order to consider appropriate managerial patterns for future high energy nuclear accelerators. At this meeting, held at the National Academy of Sciences on January 17, 1965, it was agreed that the universities should form an association, nationwide in membership, for the purpose of offering its services as manager of future large Federal research facilities. The resulting organization, now known as Universities Research Association (or URA), was organized initially with 34 members under its first president, Dr. J. C. Warner. He has been succeeded by the current President, Prof. Norman F. Ramsey, and the organization has grown to 48 members including one in Canada.

The crowd walking to the Linac ground breaking
The crowd walking to the Linac ground breaking.
Silo and barn formerly belonged to the Arthur Schimelpfenig family

I would like to turn for a few moments to another most important aspect of this project. Early in 1967, soon after the Commission had announced that the National Accelerator Laboratory was to be built here, many questions were asked concerning the civil rights aspects of the selection. The Commission was severely criticized by some for having selected a site in an area which did not appear to have accepted the concept of equal opportunity for all, regardless of race, creed, color, or national origin. In answer to this criticism, I told the Joint Committee on February 8, 1967, that "a satisfactory solution to the human rights problem is more important than this accelerator. However, they are not in conflict here at the Weston site. We believe that construction of the accelerator at Weston and advancement of human rights can complement one another." In short, we regarded the civil rights challenge as an opportunity to be met, and I believe that we are meeting that opportunity in the right way.

The National Accelerator Laboratory has been a catalyst for change. No less than fourteen communities within the commuting radius of this site have adopted open occupancy laws since the selection was announced.

Mrs. Livingston and Dr. M. Stanley Livingston, Associate Director at the groundbreaking ceremeony
Mrs. Livingston and Dr. M. Stanley Livingston, Associate Director
at the groundbreaking ceremeony

Indeed, NAL has been far more than a catalyst. It has actively and effectively promoted policies of equal opportunity, looking both to the present and the future, in cooperation with AEC's Chicago Operations Office and DUSAF, the architect-engineer. It has cooperated with local unions in promoting pre-apprenticeship and other training programs for the construction industry, and in recruiting minorities to participate in these opportunities. Thus far, 71 young minority men have been given a chance, previously unavailable to them, to work in the construction industry in this area. In promoting these programs, NAL and its associates have found cooperation and even encouragement from local building trades unions, from local industry, and from local community leaders.

The Laboratory will continue to provide such opportunities, both in its construction and its operation, for disadvantaged men and women in this area. The dedication to equal opportunity shown by the Laboratory and its associates will, I believe, demonstrate that with enlightened federal, state, and industry cooperation, scientific progress and human progress can go hand in hand.

The Atomic Energy Commission at the beginning of 1967 entered into its first contract with the Universities Research Association for a design study, and the National Accelerator Laboratory came into being. The first step was to find a Director; the choice happily fell on Professor Robert R. Wilson who was then completing work on a large electron accelerator at Cornell. He rapidly assembled a design group at Oak Brook, in the western suburbs of Chicago. In 1967, a summer design effort took place, involving many of the nation's accelerator specialists. An NAL Users Group, reaching into almost every institution in the country where theoretical or experimental high energy physics is studied, was organized the same year to assist the laboratory in planning.

Meanwhile the staff of the NAL was taking form, and in the current year their varied efforts and substantial achievements have provided a very impressive beginning. The signing of a definitive design and construction contract last January, and the appropriation only a few months ago of funds to begin construction of the laboratory's first buildings, assure that progress is to continue.

During all this time, from the beginning and through all these important stages of planning and initial work, we have had the firm support of President Johnson for this project. And we are grateful for that support.

Now we have come to the point of breaking ground for the first of the buildings to house the accelerator. Appropriately enough, the first structure to be built is the housing for the linear accelerator. Eventually in this housing, the protons will begin their trip through the accelerator.

This linear accelerator housing is the beginning of the major construction program aimed at completing the accelerator itself by mid-1972 and the laboratory as a whole by the end of 1973. After the construction of this housing is started, the booster-accelerator housing will be initiated, followed by the mile-and-a-quarter diameter main ring tunnel. At the same time, construction of the accelerator components - magnets, vacuum chambers, power supplies and so forth - will have been started, and, as the accelerator housings are completed, the accelerator systems will begin to take shape within them.

The linear accelerator will be completed first. Then, when the booster accelerator is finished, its shakedown will be carried out using protons injected from the linear accelerator. Likewise, when the main ring accelerator is ready to receive protons, they will be available from the booster. Thus each component of the 200 BeV Accelerator complex will be tested on a timely schedule.

This construction schedule is an intensive and demanding one. The payoff will come, if all goes well, in the middle of 1972 when Professor Wilson and his staff expect to achieve the first 200 BeV proton beam and to begin the nation's - and the world's - first controlled multi-hundred Bev research program.

Dignitaries at the Linac Groundbreaking Ceremony
Glenn T. Seaborg, Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission; Lewis V. Morgan, Jr., Chairman, Illinois Atomic Energy Commission; (below) U.S. Representative from Illinois Melvin Price; (above) State Representative Jack Hill; Harvey Pearson, Member of Illinois Atomic Energy Commission; (above-unknown); (below) State Senator Robert W. Mitchler, Secretary Illinois AEC; James N. Ramey, Commissioner, AEC; John F. Ryan, member of the Illinois AEC; and Norman F. Ramsey, president of the Universities Research Association at the Linac groundbreaking ceremony

Particle accelerators have long been indispensable to nuclear research as the sources of energetic particles with which to probe the nucleus and its constituents. The Atomic Energy Commission has sponsored a series of high-energy accelerators for the investigation of the fundamental particles and laws of physics. These accelerators, the Cosmotron and Alternating Gradient Synchrotron at Brookhaven National Laboratory, the Bevatron at Berkeley, the Zero Gradient Synchrotron at Argonne National Laboratory, the Stanford Linear Accelerator, the Cambridge Electron Accelerator, and the Princeton-Pennsylvania Accelerator, have produced a wealth of new knowledge: the verification of the existence of anti-particles of nucleons, the discovery of a host of new particles, the discovery of unexpected asymmetries in nature, and many other things. Each time a new regime of energy has been entered, a wealth of new phenomena has been revealed, and we have come closer to an understanding of the forces at work in the nucleus.

With the 200 BeV Accelerator at the National Accelerator Laboratory, we take another step in energy, eagerly anticipating the revelations the new energy regime may have in store for us.

We are proud of the accomplishments of the URA, the National Accelerator Laboratory and of all the distinguished scientists and engineers who have contributed to this project. They have produced an efficient and economical accelerator design which has favorably impressed scientists all over the world. They have planned and initiated an expeditious construction schedule. This afternoon, this groundbreaking ceremony symbolizes the start of the major construction of the National Accelerator Laboratory. We congratulate Professor Wilson and his staff, and we look forward to a highly successful program.


James T. Ramey

It is always an honor and a privilege to participate in ceremonies such as today's groundbreaking. But it is an even greater pleasure when you are a native who has returned to his state to help commemorate a project of great interest locally, nationally and personally.

Actually this is the second laboratory site selection and activation inwhich I've been involved in the Chicago area. Twenty years or so ago, when I was counsel for AEC's Chicago Office, the then Federal District Attorney, Otto Kerner, and I worked very closely in obtaining the site for AEC's Argonne National Laboratory. Thus it is that I have an "I've-been-here-before-feeling" right now - but I also have something of the same sense of excitement that I felt back then - the excitement of being-witness to man's willingness to meet a great challenge. At that time, it was the potential of atomic power which is now becoming a reality.

At this time, research in facilities such as the 200 Bev Accelerator can unlock the mysteries of the universe. My colleagues are better qualified to discuss the nature of the research than I. But while the promise of such research is great, so are the investments which must be made by those who choose to become involved in its pursuit. I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the fact that the State of Illinois, in an act of farsightedness - and in my view, considerable courage - has volunteered to make such an investment in the scientific future of this Nation. In competition with 45 other states seeking to provide a home for the 200 Bev Accelerator Facility, the State in 1965 offered to make 6800 acres of choice land available as a site at no cost to the Federal Government. It is never a small decision for a State - and its people - to give up such a tract of land. And it has been a particularly complex task in a metropolitan area such as this, requiring as it does, considerable expenditures of state funds, termination of an existing community in Weston and the displacement of families, some of which have farmed their lands for generations. The fact that we are here today commemorating the start of permanent construction of the accelerator facilities is a vivid testimonial to the effort that has been expended by the State to this end.

Ken Mitchell, design consultant, DUSAF; Parke Rohrer, Project Manager, DUSAF; Norman F. Ramsey, President URA; and Phil Mayer Chief Administrator of Max O. Urbahn
Ken Mitchell, design consultant, DUSAF; Parke Rohrer, Project Manager, DUSAF;
Norman F. Ramsey, President URA; and Phil Mayer Chief Administrator of Max O. Urbahn

So it is on behalf of my fellow Commissioners and myself that I commend the State of Illinois, its Congressional Delegation, its State and local officials and its people for the farsightedness they have shown in embarking on this adventure. This certainly includes many distinguished persons here on the platform and in the audience, and some who could not make this occasion.

But all the challenges that have been met to date involving the imagination and efforts of the State, the National Accelerator Laboratory and the Federal Government may have only been an introduction to the greater challenges that lie ahead.

The time schedule for the accelerator calls for production of a beam of protons by July of 1972. To build an immensely complicated first-of-a-kind machine that works at all is in itself a great challenge. To aspire to do so on this time schedule is a recognition by all concerned that if we are to obtain maximum gains from new scientific tools such as the accelerator - if we are to avoid possible penalties in high costs and low morale - we must strive to cut the lead time involved in the development and construction of these scientific tools to a minimum. This is what Bob Wilson and his colleagues believe - not hope - but believe they can do!

The Laboratory simultaneously seeks to meet another challenge - that of providing equal opportunity in terms of employment and housing for its employees. Thus our objective is that the accelerator is not only to be built on schedule, but it is to be built within a setting of dedication to human rights and dignity. As Chairman Seaborg has stated, the Accelerator and the Laboratory are to be an illustration that scientific progress and human progress can go forward hand in hand.

If the challenges of technical complexity, scheduling, and equal opportunity - and all the other challenges involved in this effort - are to be met, it will require the sustained cooperative effort of all of us here today. It will take a lot of doing, and I would not minimize the rough spots and problems we will encounter. Needless to state, I know we all believe it will be worth it, both in scientific, material and human terms. It is to meeting these challenges that we should dedicate our efforts again today. Thank you.


Gerald F. Tape

I am particularly encouraged by the fact that my friend, Dr. Robert Wilson, and his able staff have elected to break ground for the first major building of the National Accelerator Laboratory without regard to season of the year. As a former faculty member at the University of Illinois, I have lived in this state long enough to know that groundbreaking ceremonies at this time of year can test not only men but shovels. A group determined to implement its plans with such determination will be hard to stop.

This Laboratory is an act of enlightened faith. We do not know what it will teach us about the nature of matter. We cannot forecast with precision how much it will add to our understanding. But as has been told many times, we hope that our scientists will be smart enough to ask the right questions when the proper time comes. The questions we would ask today are no doubt not the ones we will wish to ask when the machine is in operation and responding to the probing of the experimenters. History has borne out the faith of those who have embarked on similar projects in the past. I expect we will be equally rewarded in the future.

Our nation has demonstrated, before, its willingness to invest in sources for new knowledge. The first major allocations of national resources to exploring the mysteries of the atom resulted from wartime experiences and our continuing defense needs. Today we are spurred not by wartime needs but by a quest for significant knowledge, by a sense of wonder and curiosity about the fundamental truths of our universe. One cannot predict the future sequence of events. But just as we can trace the lineage of such technologies or activities as optics, photography, and even space exploration back to basic laws formulated by Sir Isaac Newton two and a half centuries ago, so too will the studies of submicroscopic particles lay a foundation for applications as yet undreamed of.

Despite a slowdown this year generally in outlays for research, Congress, particularly the JCAE, understands the importance of the NAL project as a necessary and important research tool in pushing back the frontiers of knowledge. We live in Marshall McLuhan's "global village," a small place, where we are closely watched by our neighbors and judged by our actions. In making this commitment to the 200 BeV accelerator, the United States is declaring publicly that we intend to stay in the forefront of science and technology.

But in today's action there is implicit another declaration as well. Particle physics is a prime example of peaceful competition on an international scale. We hope to share the fruits of our research here with all of the scientific community around the world not only as results but in producing those results as well. We have demonstrated our willingness to do this in the past and not only just with our free world colleagues. The world fraternity studying particle physics is a large one, and we hope it can be used to bring nations closer together rather than divide them. As a famous Illinois statesman, Adlai Stevenson, observed, "Nature is neutral. Man has wrested from nature the power to make the world a desert or to make the deserts bloom. There is no evil in the atom; only in men's souls."

The National Accelerator Laboratory will be good for the economy of Illinois, but that is only the beginning. The benefits begin with this coninunity but rapidly embrace the entire region and the nation. These benefits are only in small part economic. The greatest part of the National Accelerator Laboratory's contributions, will be to our better understanding of nature, to higher education as an assist to academic science, and in time to all education as an enrichment of our entire culture.

This Laboratory is a noble enterprise. I know it will bring honor to all those associated with it, and benefit not only scientists and not only this nation but men of many skills and vocations and indeed the entire world.


As part of today's groundbreaking ceremony for the first permanent building at The National Accelerator Laboratory, a special demonstration of modern groundbreaking techniques has been arranged.

Chauncey Woods gives an earth moving demonstration as part of the Linac groundbreaking ceremony
Chauncey Woods gives an earth moving demonstration as part of the Linac groundbreaking ceremony

The demonstration is being offered by Mr. Chauncy Woods, who is a member of Local 150, International Brotherhood of Operating Engineers. William Martin is business manager of this Local.

Mr. Woods is a graduate of the pre-apprenticeship 10-week training program directed by Local 150. This program was funded by the U. S. Department of Labor and the "classroom" was the grounds of the Argonne National Laboratory site. Staff members of The National Accelerator Laboratory and DUSAF, the joint venture serving as architects-engineers for the National Accelerator Laboratory, also cooperated in recruitment, planning and execution of the program. The support of the State of Illinois Employment Service also is acknowledged, as is that of the U. S. Atomic Energy Commission.

Mr. Woods was born in St. Louis, Mo. he is 26 years old, attended the Farragut High School on Chicago's West Side, served three years in the United States Army and is a member of the Lawndale Freedom Movement (Chicago) and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Equipment for today's demonstration is being provided by the Schless Construction Company, Inc. of Batavia, Illinois.

The NAL Village, 1968-1969
The NAL Village, 1968-1969.
The Village is across the site from the location of the Linac building, the first permanent building at NAL


Letter to Senator Dirksen
Letter to Senator Everett Dirksen

Letter from Senator Dirksen
Letter from Senator Everett Dirksen

Invitation to Glenn Seaborg
The invitation to Glenn Seaborg to speak at the groundbreaking ceremony

Invitation to Gov. Shapiro
An invitation to Illinois Governor Samuel Shapiro


Telegram from London
Congratulations from London

Telegram from JINR, Moscow
Regards from JINR, Moscow

Telegram from DESY, Hamburg
Good luck from DESY, Hamburg

Return to the Wilson Years

Dedication of Laboratory (1974)

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