Mrs. MORELLA. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and agree to the concurrent resolution (H. Con. Res. 27) honoring the National Institute of Standards and Technology and its employees for 100 years of service to the Nation.
Mr. HOYER. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks and include therein extraneous material on the subject of this special order.
Mrs. MORELLA. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Speaker, I am pleased to have introduced, along with my colleague, the gentleman from Colorado (Mr. UDALL), H. Con. Res. 27, the resolution that honors the National Institute of Standards and Technology and its employees for 100 years of service to our Nation.
A century ago on March 3, 1901, the 56th Congress established the National Bureau of Standards, the predecessor to NIST, and created the Nation's first Federal laboratory.
When NBS was originally founded, its mission was to support industry, commerce and scientific institutions, as well as all branches of government. Prior to this formal establishment, however, the core mandate of NBS was first laid out in the Articles of Confederation and the Constitution of these United States, thereby making NIST's mission as old as the Republic itself.
NBS was created at a time of enormous industrial development in the United States to help support interstate commerce in industries such as steel manufacturing, railroads, telephone and electrical power, that were technically very sophisticated for their time but lacked adequate standards.
In the first 2 decades of the 20th century, the Federal laboratory won international recognition for its outstanding achievements in physical measurements, development of standards, and test measures, and this tradition continues today.
In these early years, the research conducted by NIST scientists laid the foundation for a number of advances in many scientific and technical fields, such as standards for x-ray dosage, fire hose couplings, lighting and electrical power usage, temporary measurement of molten metals, materials corrosion studies and testing, and metallurgy, among others.
Both World Wars found NIST deeply involved in mobilizing science to solve pressing weapons and war material problems, including research on, one, the determination of the properties and purities of uranium and other critical materials used in nuclear reactors and atomic bombs; two, testing and development of standards for material used by industry in the production of synthetic rubber; three, the design of two early smart weapons, the radio proximity fuse and the Bat, the first fully automated
guided missile ever used successfully in combat; and, four, quartz crystals used in radio equipment, new metal alloys, new plastics, and specialized paper for war maps.
In 1949, the atomic age of time-keeping began at NIST; and ever since, the advances in the performance of atomic clocks have supported the development of new technologies such as high data rate, telecommunications and the global positioning system. During the 1950s and 1960s, NIST research helped usher in the computer age and was employed in the space race.
NIST's Standards Eastern Automatic Computer, the first operational, internally programmed digital computer in the United States, was a marvel at the dawn of the computer era, introducing many firsts and early applications of the technology that helped shape the information technology boom of the late 20th century.
In 1966, the need for expanded facilities led NIST to move from its aging facilities in the District of Columbia to farmland in what was then considered the rural community of Gaithersburg, Maryland, although the site is now considered prime real estate in an ever expanding Washington suburb.
In 1988, the National Bureau of Standards was renamed the National Institute of Standards and Technology, in recognition of its expanded mission to strengthen the United States economy and improve the quality of life by working with industry to develop and apply technology, measurements and standards.
NIST scientists continue to make solid contributions to our economy and international competitiveness, while serving as a behind-the-scenes specialist with its research, measurement tools, and technical services integrated deeply into many of the systems and operations that collectively drive the economy, including manufacturing cells, satellite systems, communication and transportation networks, laboratories, factories, hospitals, businesses, and the extended enterprises of the new economy.
NIST has been a leader in helping small manufacturing companies in all 50 States to modernize and prepare for the 21st century, as well as helping lead companies to become even more competitive by defining best practices in business, in education, and in health care through its Malcolm Baldridge National Quality Program.
Mr. Speaker, I am extremely proud to represent NIST's Gaithersburg, Maryland, headquarters and some of our Nation's finest and most dedicated Federal scientists, including Nobel Prize winners that work there. I am also very pleased to note that to better fulfill its mission, NIST is embarking on its second century with two new state-of-the-art laboratories, the Advanced Chemical Sciences Laboratory and the Advanced Measurement Laboratory, at its Gaithersburg, Maryland, headquarters.
NIST will now possess the equipment to perform its vital job of tackling the awesome technological challenges that face our Nation as we begin this new millennium.
As the former chairman of the Subcommittee on Technology with budget authority and legislative oversight over NIST, I have long been concerned that NIST laboratory infrastructure had been obsolete and required repair. It was clear to me and to others that without state-of-the-art measurement and calibration equipment, NIST simply could not fulfill its mission. NIST laboratories needed to upgrade the facilities to meet the increased precision required by an increasingly complex technological world,
and these two new laboratories further bolster NIST's efforts and reputation as the crown jewel of the Federal science and technology efforts.
Of course, we all know that world-class facilities are useless without world-class employees, and luckily NIST already has the latter. After all, state-of-the-art laboratories are merely enabling tools. NIST and our Nation, for that matter, are fortunate to have one of the world's finest assemblages of scientific and engineering expertise. It is a dedicated workforce that is committed to building the advanced science and technology infrastructure needed to ensure future prosperity and the global
competitiveness of the United States industry in the 21st century and beyond.
Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to recognize the historical significance of the centennial of NIST's founding and acknowledge its 100 years of achievement and service. So I urge passage of this very significant resolution.
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.