Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Where did Watson and Crick hang out when not working on DNA?

April 25th is National DNA Day!

While we were on our trip to England with the Mayflower Society Historic Sites tour, we went to Cambridgeshire, home of passenger John Howland, who was born in Fenstanton.  Nearby was Cambridge University.  Did you know that passenger William Brewster attended Peterhouse College at Cambridge?  The pastor to the pilgrims, Rev. John Robinson, also received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1596 from Corpus Christi College, and in 1599 he earned a Master of Arts.  Robinson is my 11th great grandfather on both my maternal and paternal sides of the family tree. 

The Eagle pub is owned by Corpus Christi College.  In the rear of this building is the RAF bar, where pilots used to hang out during World War II.  It is covered with military insignia and graffiti from the era.  Do you know who used to hang out here after the war?  Francis Crick and James Watson used to have lunch here, and on 28 February 1953 they stood up in the bar and announced their discovery!  We celebrate DNA Day as April 25 because on that day in 1953 they published their discovery in the journal Nature.  I rather like the pub story better!

And so, because Vincent is an Aero Space engineer, and because I'm a genealogist, we decided to have lunch at the Eagle pub, too.  Here are the photos of our visit.  Happy DNA Day! 

A special beer on tap in the RAF bar

This plaque marks the table where Watson and Crick used to sit:

The Eagle Cambridge
Discovery of DNA
On this spot, on February 28, 1953, Francis Crick
and James Watson made the first public
announcement of the discovery of DNA with the
words "We have discovered the secret of life".
Throughout their early partnership Watson & Crick
dined in this room on six days every week.

We enjoyed a pint or two of the DNA ale!


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Where did Watson and Crick hang out when not working on DNA?", Nutfield Genealogy, posted April 25, 2018,  ( accessed [access date]).

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