From Yorktown to the Civil War, Pearl Harbor to 9/11, discover the pivotal moments that defined each president’s life and legacy and the lessons we can draw from them. New episodes available the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month.
33.B) Truman and the Bomb, an interview with D.M. Giangreco
“16 hours ago, an American airplane dropped one bomb on Hiroshima … It is an atomic bomb. It is a harnessing of the basic power of the universe. The force from which the sun draws its power has been loosed against those who brought war to the Far East” – President Harry S. Truman, Aug. 6, 1945, in his announcement of the first atomic attack in world history
When Harry S. Truman unexpectedly became president on April 12, 1945, the United States was still in the midst of World War II – but there were plans to hasten its resolution. Secret plans. Atomic plans. In the following four months, the first atomic bombs would be tested in New Mexico and then dropped on the Empire of Japan. Historian D.M. Giangreco, author of the new book Truman and the Bomb: The Untold Story, discusses what Senator Truman knew about the bomb and when he knew it, the casualty forecasts that Truman weighed in his decision to drop the bomb, and whether dropping the bomb ended World War II.
“The full impact of the war comes more to me, I think, in some respects than it does to anyone in this country. The daily casualty lists are mine. They arrive in a constant stream, a swelling stream, and I can’t get away from them.” – Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall, June, 1945