Charles G. Abbot Retires as Secretary

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Secretary Charles Greeley Abbot (1872-1973) retires to devote himself to his researches in astrophysics and solar radiation. Appointed the fifth Secretary in 1928, he is the first Smithsonian Secretary not to die in office. On July 1, 1944, Assistant Secretary Alexander Wetmore is appointed Acting Secretary and he serves until January 12, 1945, when he is elected the sixth Secretary of the Smithsonian by the Board of Regents. A graduate of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Abbot had joined the staff of the Smithsonian in 1895.


  • Abbot, C. G (Charles Greeley) b. 1872
  • Wetmore, Alexander 1886-
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Board of Regents


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • Oehser, Paul H. The Smithsonian Institution. New York: Praeger Publishers, 1970, p. 60.
  • Annual Report for the Smithsonian Institution for the year 1945. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1946, p. 7.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


June 29, 1944


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