Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Countdown to Hiroshima: X-Minus-24 Days

This week I launched my annual daily countdown to the use of atomic bombs against Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the aftermath in 1945.  You can find the first couple of days below.  In one of them, I described how famed nuclear physicist Leo Szilard organized a petition campaign to try to get President Truman to order that their creation not be used against humans or if so, only after a demonstration to the Japanese of its power.  This sparked a similar petition, on around this date in 1945,  by 67 scientists at Oak Ridge, Tenn., who were also working in the Manhattan.  For more see my Atomic Cover-up book.
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To the President of the United States: 
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We, the undersigned scientific personnel of the Clinton Laboratories, believe that the world-wide social and political consequences of the power of the weapon now being developed on this Project impose a special moral obligation on the government and people of the United States in introducing the weapon in warfare.

It is further believed that the power of this weapon should be made known by demonstration to the peoples of the world, irrespective of the course of the present conflict, for in this way the body of world opinion may be made the determining factor in the absolute preservation of peace.

Therefore we recommend that before this weapon be used without restriction in the present conflict, its powers should be adequately described and demonstrated, and the Japanese nation should be given the opportunity to consider the consequences of further refusal to surrender. We feel that this course of action will heighten the effectiveness of the weapon in this war and will be of tremendous effect in the prevention of future wars.

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