U.S. At War: $134,000,000 Memo

James H. Graham, onetime engineering professor at the University of Kentucky, had no idea that his one-page memo would launch a $134,000,000 rumpus. An old friend and $1-a-year assistant to the U.S. Army Service Force's Lieut. General Brehon B. Somervell, Mr. Graham had been asked to figure out a quick, sure way to supply the Alaska Highway with oil and high-octane gas. Engineer Graham studied maps and mulled over the problem at intervals for two months in the spring of 1942. Then he suggested: Why not develop the Canadian oil resources at Nor...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!