Friday, March 13, 2015

Harry Truman

I had often read about the fact that Franklin Roosevelt had kept his successor poorly informed about just about everything, and specifically that Truman didn't even know there was such a thing as an atomic bomb until after FDR's death. But something I just thought about today was this ...

Truman had been in office only three months when he had to make the decision whether to drop the bomb. Roosevelt died on April 12, the bomb was successfully tested on July 16, shortly afterward the US called on Japan to surrender, Japan refused, and the first bomb was dropped on August 6.

Maybe everybody else has thought about this, but to me the timeline is remarkable -- akin to teaching a kid to swim by throwing him into the water.

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