I don’t know if I have anything particularly insightful, new, or especially revelatory to say about it, but I would be remiss if I did not mention that today is the 75th anniversary of the dropping of Little Boy on Hiroshima.
Truman had been in office less than four months at this time. Roosevelt had kept the Manhattan Project a secret from his vice-president, who learned of the race to build the atomic bomb only after Roosevelt’s death in April. Imagine hearing about such a thing for the first time, and knowing you would be the one who would have to make such a decision. The history, creation, and use of the atomic bomb is a story that resonates on the individual and universal level. Very rarely do tipping points in history come so sharply and clearly as they did seventy-five years ago today. There was no turning back or putting the genie back in the bottle for humankind after August 6, 1945. The world had unambiguously entered a new age.
(image/Truman Library Institute)
Bob Crothers said:
I think Truman was one of the least informed VPs in modern history. And I think he was one of better Presidents.
Most historians give him good marks particularly for making the
Decision on the bomb and for integrating the armed services.
He was one who proved one can grow to the office.
Good words, Keith. Comment on NPR today was that President Truman did not know of the second bomb until it had exploded! New regulations were written after that to require more specificity for any future orders. We must find a way to prevent any such choice ever.
Keith Muchowski said:
Bob, I hope your summer is going well.
I’d never heard the one about Truman and the second bomb. It’s scary how unsecure the nuclear supply is. Some of the coding, for instance, is still on old floppy discs. Missiles have fallen off ships and submarines in the past and had to be recovered from the ocean floor. It’s all quite extraordinary.