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 Chapter Two Illustration
Chapter Two

THE BEGINNING... A LETTER THAT STARTLES HOLLYWOOD

THE STORY
behind the filming of "The Beginning or The End" actually begins back in 1939, in the small Iowa town of Denison. It was about the time when the world's scientists were beginning to make headway in their study of nuclear "fission", a process involving the bombardment of uranium with neutrons.
 
Important experiments in this country, as well as Germany, France, Denmark and England, proved that a neutron striking a uranium nucleus caused that nucleus to split with the release of tremendous amounts of energy. These were the experiments that led to the first nuclear chain reaction in history, at the University of Chicago on December 2, 1942.
 
But, the story beginning to unfold in Denison was much more typical of Hollywood than was the story of scientific achievement going on elsewhere. It had all the elements of a Cinderella story.
 
There was a pretty girl, a high school student. There was a young professor, her chemistry teacher. It was of no apparent importance at the time, but the friendship begun in that classrom was to continue even when the girl went on to become a movie star, and the small town teacher rose to become a brilliant atomic scientist. While each took separate roads to success, they continued to write each other news of their progress and adventures.


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