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1945: If the baby doesn’t cry

Stalin hears word of the bomb the Americans used on Japan. Hiroshima destroyed. Yakov Terletsky (a Russian physicist who probably heard the story in the halls of the KGB) describes Stalin’s reaction: “Stalin [has] a tremendous blow up for the first time since the war began, losing his temper, banging his fists on the table […]

1945: Evening in Los Alamos

A soldier stationed at Los Alamos, Ed Doty, writes a letter home. describing the keyed-up excitement on The Hill over the 24 hours beginning from the moment the announcement comes over the intercom. People came out into the allways of the buildings and milled around like a Times Square New Year’s Eve Crowd. Everyone was […]

1945: Disappeared

The smoke cleared some from the previous day’s blast, revealing the destruction. [see aerial view of Hiroshima] A history professor interviewed by Jay Lifton describes viewing the city: I climbed Hikiyama Hill and looked down. I saw that Hiroshima had disappeared…. I was shocked by the sight…. What I felt then and still feel now […]

1945: Messages to Tokyo

Americans have been monitoring the Imperial Army radio circuits from Hiroshima the morning of August 6. Only one message originating from outside Hiroshima was transmitted between 7:38 to noon. It reported “a violent, large special-type bomb, giving the appearance of magnesium” and that when it exploded, it did so with a “blinding flash and violent […]

1945: Groves calls Oppie

At 2:00 pm Eastern, General Groves places a call to Los Alamos, to Robert Oppenheimer. (Note: this call may have happened before the general announcement was made. The timing of the call to the general announcement is unclear) Gen G: I’m very proud of you and all of your people. Dr. O: It went all […]

1945: Word reaches Los Alamos

Scientists working at Los Alamos hear the news, broadcast over the loudspeaker in the Tech Area. Here are their recollections of that moment: Frank Oppenheimer, brother of Robert Oppenheimer: The announcement of Hiroshima— I think I was in the hall right outside my brother’s office and it came over a sort of loudspeaker that was […]