Three Men on a Bench

On a hard park bench in Washington's Lafayette Square, three of the nation's most distinguished citizens held a momentous conference on the Rubber Scandal last week. The sun gleamed dully on the scabrous green of the old Andrew Jackson hobbyhorse statue. Serious, bespectacled James Bryant Conant, president of Harvard University, shed his coat. So did aggressive, square-jawed Karl Taylor Compton, president of Massachusetts Institute of Technology. But Elder Statesman Bernard Mannes Baruch—to whom the bench is a favorite office (TIME, May 12, 1941)—kept on his light summer jacket.

They talked in undertones...

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