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Council for a Livable World celebrates 30th

STANFORD -- Actor Michael Tucker will speak at Stanford University on Thursday, May 7, at an event to mark the 30th anniversary of the Council for a Livable World.

The lecture/celebration is scheduled for 7:15 p.m. in Fairchild Auditorium. It is free and open to the public.

Tucker, known for playing lawyer Stuart Markowitz on the television drama "L.A. Law," played physicist Leo Szilard, the founder of a Council for a Livable World, in the made-for- television movie "Day One." The film dramatized Szilard's life, from his escape from Nazi Germany through his initiating the development of the first atomic bomb and his futile attempt to prevent the use of the bomb against Japan.

Also on the program will be council director Wayne Jaquith and Szilard's niece, Helen Weiss, who will screen a clip from her documentary on Szilard. Stanford history Prof. Barton J. Bernstein will moderate.

(Stanford University Press is re-publishing Szilard's science fiction book, Voice of the Dolphins, with a preface by Bernstein.)

Szilard is considered one of the "fathers" of the atomic bomb. The Hungarian refugee fled Berlin for London, where in 1934 he patented the idea of a nuclear chain reaction. After immigrating to the United States, he drafted the letter that Albert Einstein sent to President Franklin Roosevelt in 1939, urging him to develop the atomic bomb before Hitler's scientists could.

After Germany's defeat in 1945, Szilard led Manhattan Project scientists in petitioning President Truman to stage a demonstration of the bomb in an effort to convince the Japanese to surrender before it could be used against civilians.

Szilard coined the phrase "Council for a Livable World" during visits to Stanford and Berkeley in 1962 in support of U.S. Senate candidates who were anti-war and pro-disarmament. Since then, the council has raised more than $8 million for candidates supporting arms control. The first senator elected with financing from the council was George McGovern in 1963; the most recent was Sen. Harris Wofford (D-Penn.) last year.

The 30th anniversary event is co-sponsored by the council, the Stanford University Press and the International Relations Program.



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