Chomsky (1975:3) noted himself that "there would have been little notice in the profession if it had not been for a provocative and extensive review article by Robert Lees that appeared almost simultaneously with the publication of Syntactic Structures" (emphasis added: KK). Naturally, Chomsky does not indicate how this came about; for details, see Murray (1980:79-81, and especially footnote 55 on p.87).
In this context, it is almost curious to see Chomsky's debt to Harris' work acknowledged in a recent history of linguistics by an adherent of TGG (cf. Sampson 1980:134-138 passim). Indeed, Chomsky himself (1975:41-45), writing on Harris' concept of 'grammatical transformation' and of his attempts at discourse analysis acknowledges his introduction to linguistics through Harris on this and other occasions (e.g., Mehta 1971:187-188), though always stressing the differences between his and Harris' views In another interview (Sklar 1968:215) Chomsky indicated that his introduction linguistics began by proofreading Harris' Methods of Structural Linguistics, a manuscript edition of which was circulating at least since 1949. (It had been completed early in 1947, but it was published in Chicago only in 1951.)
As a matter of fact, Whatmough, professor of comparative philology a Harvard, had originally been selected serve as President of the Congress, but as the 1964 Proceedings indicate, he was replaced prior its tenure by Einar Haugen (who at the time was still al the University of Wisconsin). Whatmough's name does not even appear in the list of Congress participants (cf. Lunt 1964:1145-1171).
Professor Johann Knobloch, who participated in the 1962 Congress, told me when I gave a paper on the present topic in 1982 at the University of Bonn, that he had felt at the time that he was witnessing the 'inthronization' of Noam Chomsky.
Note that Chomsky's paper at the Congress was by no means the only one promoting TGG; papers by William S-Y. Wang, Samuel R. Levin, Paul M. Postal, Emmon Bach, Paul Schachter, and others too (cf. Lunt 1964:191-202, 308-314, 346-355, 672-677, 692-692, in that order) had their share in it.
Following my paper on the present subject at the Univ. of Vienna on 16 December 1982, Prof. Wolfgang Dressler, who was the president of the 1977 International Congress, commented that, according his information, there had never been as much money available for a congress as for the one held a Cambridge, Mass., in 1962, and that there would probably never again be so much money available in the future. According to him, hundreds (!) of foreign scholars had their travel expenses paid by the congress organisers.
Sampson (1980:252, n.l2) reports that the "course which Halle's and Chomsky's department offers on non-Chomskyan linguistics [...] is popularly known, by staff and students alike as `The Bad Guys'. Obviously the name is no intended [to be taken] too seriously, but it is indicative [of their general altitude towards the ideas of others displayed at MIT]". (I am completing here Sampson's elliptical sentence: KK.)
In the preface to his book Newmeyer (1980:xi) states: "In fact, there is no discussion of developments in phonology since the early 1960s." Apart from one of his colleague's (at the Univ. of Washington, Seattle) suggestion that Newmeyer would not know enough about the subject to write about its evolution, it is a simple fact that volumes of collective articles on 'generative linguistics', at least those published during the 197Os, are heavily tilted toward phonology, with comparatively few contributions devoted to syntax. This may have changed somewhat since the early 1970s when the Government-and-Binding approach became popular among the new generation of linguists trained at MIT, Amherst, UCLA, USC, and a few other places (e.g., the University of Arizona). --- The history of phonology by Anderson (1985), while not tree from generativist bias, has been judged as much more balanced that Newmeyer's (1980) treatment of syntax (cf. Howell 1986).
Note that Sierwisch (1971), in contrast to later 'historians' of TGG, regards Chomsky's work as structural linguistics, which indeed it is.