Newspaper and magazine articles related to Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla Articles

Newspaper and magazine articles related to Nikola Tesla

Mayor Greets Peter in King's Native Tongue

July 9th, 1942
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Yugoslav Monarch Visits City Hall. Eats Ham and Beans at Gracie Mansion

Young King Peter II of Yugoslavia, wearing the uniform of the the Yugoslav Navy, marched up steps of City Hall yesterday afternoon and was greeted in his native tongue and with gestures by Mayor F. H. LaGuardia, who picked up a number of Slav and Croatian dialects when he was American Consul in Trieste in 1904.

It was a busy day for Peter, visiting Columbia University in the morning and calling on aged Dr. Nikola Tesla, Croatian-born physicist and inventor, in the Hotel New Yorker before driving to City Hall behind a motorcycle escort. Later the King and the Mayor had buffet lunch in Gracie Mansion, where ham and beans were the pièce de résistance. The King carried his own tray.

"Mr. Mayor, you are a kind of universal celebrity," said the King in English at City Hall in response to the formal greeting of the Mayor and some pieces by the Fire Department band.

"I've known that you start all sports games. You throw the ball. And I know that you speak all languages, too. Your Yugoslav is so excellent that one would think you had been the Mayor of one of our cities.

Thought He'd e Hard to Find

"When I left for the United States I thought to myself, 'When I go to New York I shall meet Mayor LaGuardia.' I imagined our meeting would take place between the canyons of Wall Street or on Broadway or perhaps I'd have to go up to a cop and ask for the Mayor in any language. I supposed that every one in New York spoke all languages as the Mayor does, since its inhabitants come from every part of the world.

"I was a little afraid that it might not be so easy to find you, knowing that you are at every kind of opening that you supervise the new type of buses, fire engines, motor boats, patrol boats and so forth. So I was agreeably surprised and relieved when you came directly to my car at Grand Central Station of New York.

"I first met you and only later I met New York. I've been taken up millions of floors, have seen millions of windows, millions of men raising their human heights as a mountain to the most extraordinary success of the city.

"Many men here, who started by selling newspapers finished by building towers. The city of New York began with log cabins. Now. it owns the Radio Center and the tallest buildings.

Cites Faith in City

"Permit me to make one other picture in connection with New York.

"Many other cities in the work seem like men lying on the ground. But New York is like a man who has arisen and is ready to fight. In a war such as this one we need the men who are ready to fight and we also need cities like these men.

"New York is the strength, the force, the spirit and poetry of the great country, and all that I can say is that I am sure it will be worthy of the confidence and love which all the world has for it."

The Mayor, after a few words in English, spoke in Serbo-Croatian praising the heroism of General Draza Mihailovitch, leader of the Serb guerrilla forces, and Dr. Vladimir Matchek, former Croat peasant leader.

"We should look forward," he said, "not to a greater Serbia, not to a great Croatia, not to a separate Dalmatia but to a greater Yugoslavia, free and independent."

At Columbia, where he was greeted by Dr. Nicholas Murray Butler, president of the university, the King visited the Pupin Physics Laboratory, named for the Serbian-born physicist Dr. Michael Idvorsky Pupin, and saw in operation the university's atom-smashing cyclotron. Before venturing through the of water-filled walls rounding the atom smasher, the King removed his watch, having been told that the magnetic field would put the timepiece out of kilter.

King and Inventor Weep

In the trustees' room of the university, Dr. Butler said he had "every confidence in the future restoration of Yugoslavia's free and uncontrolled government." The King replied that in his visits to American war plants and universities he felt he had "touched America's strength and America's mind."

"I would like to work on your production lines beside the old and the young, who are fighting for speed and efficiency," he said. "I also would like to study with the students of America's universities, but that is impossible. Soon I shall return to England to resume my studies there."

En route to City Hall the eighteen-year-old monarch paused for a brief visit with eighty-six-year-old Dr. Tesla. Both wept.

"I am an old man," said the inventor. "but I believe I will live to see the day when you will be restored to your own kingdom and the Germans and Italians driven out. I know that our people cannot perish. I pray that you preserve the unity Yugoslavs, the Serbs, Croats and the Slovenes."


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