This is the twentieth bulletin on progress by the COMSAT Legacy Foundation. I am sorry to report the second loss of a director, John Johnson, who died peacefully this past Monday.
On August 2, we held the scheduled meeting with Comara to explore the possibility of reuniting the legacy activity with the Alumni association. There was interest on both side and we agreed to ask our attorneys to meet to examine any legal issues.
Johns Hopkins has redrafted the Finders Aid for the COMSAT collection based upon our comments and, subject to a few minor final edits, will be making it publicly available this fall. There is no news yet on the availability of a Finders Aid for the Charyk papers at GWU.
Two of the most valuable artifacts acquired from Lockheed Martin are the oil portraits of COMSAT Chairmen Leo Welch and John Harper. An art shipper is scheduled today to take possession of the Leo Welch portrait on behalf of Exxon Mobil for shipment to the Center for American History at the University of Texas, Austin. Exxon Mobil has sent us a letter acknowledging the gift and has attached a copy of a press release issued two years ago regarding the establishment of the collection. It is valued at $10 million and was set up with the help of a $300,000 grant from the Corporation. It includes previously unpublished correspondence from John D. Rockefeller, Henry Flagler, H.C. Folger, Wilbur Wright and Charles Lindbergh.
The search for a home for John Harper's portrait has been rewarded with a referral from the Western Pennsylvania Historical Society to Dean Stone, editor of the newspaper in John Harper's home town of Maryville, Tennessee. A Harper son living in Maryville, Tom Harper, confirms that the family approves a donation to the Blount County Library in Maryville, as proposed by Dean Stone. I am expecting a letter from the Deputy Mayor of Maryville requesting the portrait.
I have been contacted by the Loan Manager of the Newseum who is looking for a satellite model for display in the atrium of their new building on the mall which is scheduled to open in 2007. I have connected her with Lockheed people to explore the possible use of one or more models from the collection still on display in Clarksburg.
Steve Teller has begun scanning of the COMSAT History Project interviews into PDF format for eventual publication on the Internet. This is in addition to the effort to scan the COMSAT Technical Reviews, work by Mike Hulley that is more than half completed.
Edward J. Martin
7122 Plantation Lane
Rockville, MD 20852
Telephone: (301) 770-0984
Fax: (301) 881-5726