Tuesday, July 15, 2014

That 'Enola Gay' Exhibit

Back in 1994-1995, I was one of a small group of historians and journalists who were at the center of what you might call a "counter-protest" at the Smithsonian's Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C.  Some of you may recall the widely-publicized scenario:  The Museum had attempted to mount the first "balanced" and accurate historical reckoning of the atomic bombing of Japan, for the 50th anniversary, in an exhibit surrounding the first display of the partly-restored bomber that dropped the new weapon over Hiroshima, the Enola Gay.  When right-wing media and congress members and veterans groups were leaked an early script, they went ballistic (to so speak) and successfully brought pressure on the Smithsonian (and White House) to force a complete rewrite, so that the exhibit became a one-note, and historically inaccurate, glorification of the bombing with no shades of doubt.

I was intimately involved for months in the push-back, attended meetings in D.C. with the museum director, and more, to no avail (even witnessed civil disobedience at the museum on the day the exhibit opened).  Anyway:  Too much to recount, but here's a link to a letter that we wrote (signed by many historians) and sent to the Smithsonian director.  My book Atomic Cover-up on same general "denial." 

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