Seeking Wisdom From Albert Einstein

By Congressman Rush Holt

When Albert Einstein died in 1955, The Washington Post featured a drawing by Herblock showing the Earth with a large sign saying, “Albert Einstein lived here.” Clearly claimed as a citizen of the World, Einstein is most commonly associated with Princeton, New Jersey, where he spent his last two decades working at the Institute for Advanced Study.  He is perhaps New Jersey’s most recognizable figure.

In my office in West Windsor I display a small, glass-covered display box that a friend made and gave me. Inside is a doll-sized Albert Einstein, recognizable by his bushy moustache and the iconic fly-away white hair.  On the outside in all capital letters it reads: “BREAK GLASS IN CASE OF EMERGENCY.”  Everyone finds the curio amusing because all know Einstein has become the symbol for the universal wise man.  How did we come to view Einstein with such awe – as far more than an acclaimed physicist, even as someone who could solve any crisis, if only we would break the glass and set him free

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