31 Jul '14, 7pm

Frank Malina: America's Forgotten Rocketeer

Was Malina in fact a communist? In 2009 I studied Malina’s considerable FBI file, and I also went through his papers at the Library of Congress. The records show clearly that Malina was likely a member of a Los Angeles branch of the Communist Party in the late 1930s. His FBI file, for instance, contains a copy of a 1939 application to the Communist Party, in what appears to be Malina’s handwriting. He was also no fan of capitalism. In a 1936 letter to his parents, he wrote, “Events in Europe are certainly leading to another war. There seems to be only one hope, overthrowing of the capitalist system in all countries and an economic union of all nations.” Of course, at the height of the Great Depression, countless academics, artists, professionals, and others held such views. And, as JPL historian Erik M. Conway has written, the Communist Party branch to which Malina belonge...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/aerospace/space-flight/frank-mal...

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