Albert Abraham Michelson

Albert Abraham Michelson - ten candidates himself so he...

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Albert Abraham Michelson Albert Michelson was born in 1852 in Strzelno, Poland . His father Samuel was a Jewish merchant, not a very safe thing to be at the time. Purges of Jews were frequent in the neighboring towns and villages. They decided to leave town. Albert’s fourth birthday was celebrated in Murphy’s Camp, Calaveras County, about fifty miles south east of Sacramento, a place where five million dollars worth of gold dust was taken from one four acre lot. Samuel prospered selling supplies to the miners. When the gold ran out, the Michelsons moved to Virginia City, Nevada, on the Comstock lode, a silver mining town. Albert went to high school in San Francisco. In 1869, his father spotted an announcement in the local paper that Congressman Fitch would be appointing a candidate to the Naval Academy in Annapolis, and inviting applications. Albert applied but did not get the appointment, which went instead to the son of a civil war veteran. However, Albert knew that President Grant would also be appointing
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Unformatted text preview: ten candidates himself, so he went east on the just opened continental railroad to try his luck. Unknown to Michelson, Congressman Fitch wrote directly to Grant on his behalf, saying this would really help get the Nevada Jews into the Republican party. This argument proved persuasive. In fact, by the time Michelson met with Grant, all ten scholarships had been awarded, but the President somehow came up with another one. Of the incoming class of ninety-two, four years later twenty-nine graduated. Michelson placed first in optics, but twenty-fifth in seamanship. The Superintendent of the Academy, Rear Admiral Worden, who had commanded the Monitor in its victory over the Merrimac, told Michelson: “If in the future you’d give less attention to those scientific things and more to your naval gunnery, there might come a time when you would know enough to be of some service to your country.”...
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