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The Foundation is 59 years old

Submitter: Richard Strom
Description: On 23 April 1949, Jan Oort, Marcel Minnaert and Jaap Houtgast went to a notary public to formally register the Stichting Radiostraling van Zon en Melkweg (literally, the Foundation Radio radiation from Sun and Milky Way) as a foundation under Dutch law. SRZM, as it was known for many years, was the forerunner of ASTRON. Oort, Minnaert and Houtgast were the first chairman, vice-chairman and secretary, respectively, of the board (bestuur).
There is a story that when the notary asked Oort for a 10 guilder registration fee, he found that had taken no money with, so turned to his vice-chairman. However, Minnaert discovered that he, too, had no cash. So, on its first day as a foundation, SRZM was in debt to its secretary, Houtgast.
Copyright: The photograph of Oort was taken in 1942 by J. de Groot at the Netherlands Astronomy Conference. The other two photos were taken by Rob Rutten in 1967.
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