Immigrants Hall of Fame
A leading Surrealist painter. His paintings are filled with unrealistic but precise forms set in a dreamlike atmosphere, as in "Mama, Papa Is Wounded," and "The Five Strangers." Born in Paris, France. Came to the U.S. in 1939, becoming a citizen in 1948.
Physicist who was largely responsible for the development of the first hydrogen bomb, successfully tested by the U.S. in 1952. although he was opposed by many scientists who believed that making such a weapon was immoral or technically impossible, Teller was able to convince the government to finance a huge emergency effort to develop the hydrogen bomb (which is many times more powerful than the atomic bomb). Teller repeatedly advocated that the U.S. adopt a policy of large-scale testing and stockpiling of nuclear weapons.
Born in Budapest, Hungary. He studied in Germany. When Hitler came to power in Germany in 1933, Teller left the country. Came to the U.S. in 1935 and became a citizen in 1941.
Electrical engineer and inventor who devised the alternating-current systems that underlie the modern electrical power industry. Tesla invented the first motor that would operate effectively in alternating current. He patented many other electrical devices, including the Tesla coil, a transformer for generating high voltages at high frequencies.
Born in Croatia. He studied mathematics and physics at Graz Polytechnic and philosophy at the University of Prague. he moved to the U.S. in 1884. Tesla worked briefly with Thomas Edison, who was the advocate of using direct current. Tesla, however, saw the future in alternating current and established his own laboratory in New York City. In 1888, Tesla showed how a magnetic field could be made to rotate if two coils at right angles were supplied with alternating currents 90 degrees out of phase with each other. George Westinghouse bought rights to the patents on this motor and made it the basis for the Westinghouse power system.
Although both the Edison and Westinghouse companies went on to dominate the electricity business, Tesla made little money from his work and lived the last years of his life as an eccentric recluse.
William Thornton (1759-1828)
Physician, inventor and architect. He is best known as the designer of the U.S. Capitol. Born near Tortola, in the British Virgin Islands, West Indies. He studied medicine in Scotland and in 1787 settled in the U.S. A year later he became a citizen. Although he had no training as an architect, Thorntons Capitol design won the official competition in 1793. From 1802 until his death, he headed the U.S. Patent Office.
Protestant theologian and philosopher. He was noted for his efforts to make Christianity meaningful, especially for skeptics and intellectuals. Born in Germany and taught at German universities until he was dismissed in 1933 for opposing the Nazis. Tillich was a professor at Union Theological Seminary at Harvard University and then at the University of Chicago. He became a U.S. citizen in 1940.
Italian opera and symphony conductor. His amazing memory enabled him to conduct hundreds of operas and symphonies without looking at the musical score. Born in Parma, Italy. He became famous as conductor at La Scala, Italys most famous opera house. In 1908 he became principal conductor of the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. From 1928 to 1936 he was principal conductor of the New York Philharmonic. In 1937 he organized the NBC Symphony Orchestra for the National Broadcasting Company and remained its director until his retirement in 1954.
"The concept of a 'Personal God' interfering with
natural events, or being 'an independent cause of natural events,' makes God a natural
object beside others, an object among others, a being among beings, maybe the highest, but
nevertheless a being. This indeed is not only the destruction of the physical
system but even more the destruction of any meaningful idea of God."