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1943« Previous year|Next year »

January 7th, 1943: Tesla Dies At 86

Tesla died quietly and alone in room #3327 on the 33rd floor of the Hotel New Yorker in New York City. The coroner would later estimate the time of death at 22:30 EST. Tesla was 86 years old.

January 8th, 1943: Maid Finds Tesla Dead

Tesla had placed a "do not disturb" sign on his door on January 5th, 1943. Ignoring the sign, maid Alice Monaghan entered the room to find Tesla dead in his bed. Assistant Medical Examiner H. W. Wembly was called to the scene and after examination of the body, gave his opinion that the cause of death had been coronary thrombosis and that there had been no suspicious circumstances. Tesla's body was taken to the Frank E. Campbell Funeral Home at Madison Ave. and 81st St. A sculptor was commissioned by Hugo Gernsback, a long-time friend and supporter of Tesla, to create a death mask which is now displayed in the Nikola Tesla Museum.

January 9th, 1943: OAP Seizes Tesla Estate

After learning of Tesla's death, the FBI ordered the U.S. Office of Alien Property to seize all of Tesla's belongings. Tesla's entire estate from the Hotel New Yorker, and other New York City hotels, was transported to the Manhattan Storage and Warehouse Company under OAP seal. Dr. John G. Trump, an electrical engineer with the National Defense Research Committee of the Office of Scientific Research and Development, was called in to analyze the Tesla items in OAP custody.

January 10th, 1943: Eulogy Read By NYC Mayor

New York City mayor Fiorello La Guardia reads a moving eulogy written by Croatian author Louis Adamić live over the WNYC radio. From the background was coming sounds of "Ave Maria" and "Tamo Daleko," songs played on violin. Spreading notes over the air, the violin player Zlatko Baloković (1895-1965) paid tribute to his friend Tesla.

January 12th, 1943: Tesla's Funeral Service

Tesla was accorded a State Funeral at the Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine at West 112th St., in New York City. The Cathedral of St. John is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world, accommodated the more than 2,000 who attended. The funeral service was opened by Episcopal Bishop William T. Manning and concluded by the venerable Reverend Dushan J. Shukletovich, rector of the Serbian Orthodox Church of St. Sava. After the funeral, Tesla's body was taken to the Ferncliff Cemetery in Ardsley, New York, where it was later cremated.

January 13th, 1943: Tesla's Memorial Service

A second service was conducted in Serbian by prominent priests of the St. Sava Serbian Orthodox Cathedral at 13-15 West 25th St. in New York City.

June 21st, 1943: Supreme Court Reverses Itself

Basing their decision on Tesla's lectures of 1893, which were widely published in translation, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of Tesla as "the father of radio" in 1943, only a few months after Tesla's death. Some have speculated that the court reversed the decision merely to avoid having to pay any royalties to the Marconi Corporation, which was suing the U.S. government for patents used during World War I.

September 25th, 1943: Nikola Tesla Ship Launched

The liberty ship S.S. Nikola Tesla was christened on this day.

1943: Military Division Nikola Tesla

Croatian military division "Nikola Tesla" is formed. It fought in Lika, Dalmatia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Sandžak, Serbia, Srymia and Slavonia. The division distinguished itself in the liberation of Lika in March-May of 1943 as part of the Drvar and Belgrade operations. It became proletarian on March 19th, 1944 by decree of Supreme Headquarters and was praised several times by the Supreme Commander.

The Tesla death mask as it was originally commissioned.
The Tesla death mask as it was originally commissioned.
The Tesla death mask as it was originally commissioned. Tesla's casket being brought into the cathedral. The Croatian coat of arms. The U.S. Supreme Court building. Tesla's safe and cabinets in his room at the Hotel New Yorker. The S.S. Nikola Tesla launching. The Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the place of Tesla's funeral. New York City mayor Fiorello La Guardia. A wide view of Tesla's funeral service. Overseers of Tesla's estate in his room at the Hotel New Yorker shortly after his funeral. Tesla's funeral service at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. P.E. Foxworth, the F.B.I. agent in charge of Tesla's case. The "do not disturb" sign Tesla placed on his door before his death.