to read about the monkeys, dogs, mice, ants, rats, rabbits and other poor critters who have been blasted into space. You need a break!
Archive for the ‘The Nuclear Age’ Category
First here is a good site with a nice overview:
The largest explosion ever unleashed by the US was the 15 megaton explosion called Castle Bravo.
The blast was far more powerful than scientists had anticipated, and fallout landed on inhabited parts of Bikini Atoll and on fishermen on a Japanese tuna boat whose name was, ironically, the “5th Lucky Dragon.”
And how Lucky was the Lucky Dragon? Here is an outstanding National History Day video created by a student named Lauren White in Maryland:
And the quest to limit nuclear weapons continues even in 2010. One of you all sent me this link:
Note how many different countries have detonated nuclear weapons at least in testing, and where those explosion have taken place.
Tsutomu Yamaguchi: Was he the luckiest or the unluckiest man in Japan in August of 1945? Here’s the whole story, not just the blurb in the local paper, and you can go to the website to see a picture of Mr. Yamaguchi, alive and kicking at age 94:
It seems almost improper to suggest that fortune was smiling on Tsutomu Yamaguchi in the dying days of the second world war.
On 6 August 1945, he was in Hiroshima, preparing to return home from a business trip when the American B-29 bomber, the Enola Gay, dropped an atomic bomb on the city. Yamaguchi lived, while 140,000 other people who were in the city that morning died, some in an agonising instant, others many months later.
Burned and barely able to comprehend what had happened – only that he had witnessed a bomb unlike any used before – Yamaguchi spent a fitful night in an air raid shelter before returning home the following day.
That home, 180 miles to the west, was Nagasaki. His arrival came the day before it was devastated by a second US atomic bomb on 9 August.
In a barely conceivable course of events, he had twice been perilously close to nuclear ground zero; and both times he had lived. More than 70,000 other residents of Nagasaki were not so lucky.
More than 60 years later, the 93-year-old became the first and only known survivor of both attacks yesterday to win official recognition from Japanese authorities.
While other survivors died prematurely from cancer and liver disease caused by their exposure to radiation, Yamaguchi remains in relatively good health apart from near-deafness in one ear and complaints that his legs are “growing weak”.
Japanese records show dozens of people experienced the blast in Hiroshima only to be exposed to “residual radiation” in Nagasaki three days later. But Yamaguchi is the first to have been at ground zero when both explosions occurred.
According to a newspaper interview Yamaguchi gave on the 60th anniversary of the end of the Pacific war, he had spent the conflict designing oil tankers for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, a wartime zaibatsu, or conglomerate, whose shipyards dominated the Nagasaki skyline.
After a three-month stint at the firm’s yards in Hiroshima, Yamaguchi and two colleagues, Akira Iwanaga and Kuniyoshi Sato, prepared to return to Nagasaki on 7 August, 1945. The day before, they woke early, collected their belongings and prepared for the train journey west.
On the way to the station they became separated after Yamaguchi realised he had left his personal seal in the office.
He remembers hearing the Enola Gay circling above, but thought nothing of it: Hiroshima was an important wartime industrial base, and the sound of circling planes had become a fact of life.
Within seconds he had been knocked to his feet by the force of the blast as “Little Boy” detonated 580 metres above central Hiroshima just after 8.15 am, announcing its arrival with a blinding flash followed by a deafening boom. As he stumbled to the train station the next day, Yamaguchi witnessed the destruction and carnage left by the bomber’s 13-kiloton payload.
The following day, his burns swathed in bandages, Yamaguchi reported for work in Nagasaki, like Hiroshima an important industrial and military base.
At 11.02 on 9 August, as his boss reportedly questioned his sanity for believing that a single bomb could destroy a city the size of Hiroshima, a 25-kiloton plutonium bomb exploded above Nagasaki, throwing Yamaguchi to the ground.
He, his wife and baby son survived and spent the following week in a shelter near what was left of their home. His son has since died of cancer aged 59.
After the war Yamaguchi worked for the US occupation authorities, became a teacher and eventually returned to Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
Yamaguchi was quoted yesterday by the Mainichi newspaper. “My double radiation exposure is now an official government record. It can tell the younger generation the horrifying history of the atomic bombings even after I die,” he said.
As a registered survivor of the Nagasaki bombing, Yamaguchi has owned a pale violet copy of the Atomic Bomb Victim Health Handbook since 1957, entitling him to monthly allowances, free medical checkups and funeral costs. More than 260,000 others are similarly covered.
Yamaguchi’s handbook confirmed he was within a three-kilometre radius of ground zero in both cities, but the reference to Hiroshima was deleted when he renewed it at Nagasaki city hall in 1960.
Officials refused to recognise Yamaguchi’s special status because, they said, it would not affect his medical and welfare entitlements, but relented after he filed another request earlier this year.
“As far as we know, he is the first one to be officially recognised as a survivor of atomic bombings,” Toshiro Miyamoto, a Nagasaki city official, told the Associated Press. “It’s such an unfortunate case, but it is possible there are more like him.”
And here is his first-hand account of what he experienced:
How I survived Hiroshima – and then Nagasaki
Tsutomu Yamaguchi must be one of the luckiest people on the planet. In his only interview with a British newspaper, he tells David McNeill about the moment when the same white light filled the room again
Thursday, 26 March 2009
It will go down as one of the most inspiring survival stories ever to emerge from a horrific war. Tsutomu Yamaguchi was in his twenties when he found himself in Hiroshima on the morning of 6 August 1945, as a single B-29 US bomber droned overhead. The “Little Boy” bomb that it dropped from its payload would kill or injure 160,000 people by the day’s end.
Among them was the young engineer – who was in town on a business trip for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries – who stepped off a tram as the bomb exploded.
Despite being 3km (just under two miles) from Ground Zero, the blast temporarily blinded him, destroyed his left eardrum and inflicted horrific burns over much of the top half of his body. The following morning, he braved another dose of radiation as he ventured into Hiroshima city centre, determined to catch a train home, away from the nightmare.
But home for Mr Yamaguchi was Nagasaki, where two days later the “Fat Man” bomb was dropped, killing 70,000 people and creating a city where, in the words of its mayor, “not even the sound of insects could be heard”. In a bitter twist of fate, Yamaguchi was again 3km from the centre of the second explosion. In fact, he was in the office explaining to his boss how he had almost been killed days before, when suddenly the same white light filled the room. “I thought the mushroom cloud had followed me from Hiroshima,” Mr Yamaguchi said.
His is a truly remarkable story, all the more so because, for years, its protagonist was determined to play it down. But now, at the age of 93 and dying from cancer – probably caused by the atomic bombs that almost killed him, twice – Mr Yamaguchi has finally been awarded the recognition his life deserves. This week, the Nagasaki and Hiroshima governments recorded Mr Yamaguchi as a double-hibakusha, acknowledging that he was exposed to both blasts that incinerated the cities in 1945. “As far as we know, it is the first time that a dual exposure to atomic bombings has been entered into an A-bomb survivor’s ID,” officials said.
Living out his final days in the rebuilt Nagasaki, where he resides with his daughter, Toshiko, the old man is happy his tale is reaching people around the world. “After I die, I want the next generation of hibakusha and the children after that to know what happened to us,” he told The Independent in a telephone interview.
Like many of the roughly 260,000 survivors of the atomic explosions, Mr Yamaguchi suffered agony for much of his life, as his daughter explains. “Until I was about 12, he was wrapped in bandages for his skin wounds, and he went completely bald,” says Toshiko, now 60. “My mother was also soaked in black rain [the famously radioactive rain that fell after both bombings] and was poisoned. We think she passed on that poison to us.”
Yamaguchi’s children, like many second-generation hibakusha, have also been plagued by health problems. His son, Katsutoshi, died of cancer in 2005 aged 59. His daughter Naoko has, in Toshiko’s words, been “sickly” all her life. His wife died last year, aged 88, of kidney and liver cancer after a lifetime of illness. “I suffer too from a terribly low white blood cell count, so I worry about what will happen to me,” Toshiko adds.
But his children’s illnesses aside, Mr Yamaguchi seemed determined to live his life as normally as possible. After recovering from his burns and radiation sickness, he returned to work as a ship engineer in the local port, and rarely discussed what happened to him. “Afterwards he was fine – we hardly noticed he was a survivor,” recalls Toshiko. Her father raised his family and declined to play any part in the anti-bomb activities that fill the lives of some survivors because “he was so healthy, he thought it would have been unfair to people who were really sick”.
Mr Yamaguchi must have watched the world outside his city with alarm. Six decades after his horrific experiences, the US alone has 8,000 active or operational warheads, each carrying on average about 20 times the destructive power of Hiroshima. The once-select nuclear club of America, Russia, China, France and Britain has been swelled by new recruits Israel, Pakistan, India and probably North Korea. Even conservative Japanese politicians hint that they might one day need the bomb.
“I can’t understand why the world cannot understand the agony of the nuclear bombs,” he says, speaking through his daughter. “How can they keep developing these weapons?”
Along with thousands of others, Mr Yamaguchi applied for hibakusha status with Nagasaki when the government finally began to provide health assistance (and later other benefits) in 1957. His government-issued ID stated he was exposed to radiation only in Nagasaki, thereby neglecting his unique status as a double survivor. And he saw no need to draw attention to it.
But as he got older, things changed. In his eighties, he finally wrote a book about his experiences, and was invited to take part in a documentary called Nijuuhibaku (Twice Bombed, Twice Survived), about the handful of double A-bomb victims. The film shows him weeping bitterly as he describes watching bloated corpses floating in the city’s rivers and encountering the walking dead of Hiroshima, whose melting flesh hung like “giant gloves”.
Three years ago, the film was screened at the UN in New York, where Mr Yamaguchi, by then wheelchair-bound, pleaded with the audience to fight for the abolition of nuclear weapons. “As a double atomic bomb survivor I experienced the bomb twice, and I sincerely hope that there will not be a third,” he said.
His friends, including local journalist Masami Miyashita, told him he should make his status official. “I’ve never met anyone like him,” says Mr Miyashita. “There are other people who suffered in both bombings, but nobody I know who was so close to the blasts. To survive once is agony; twice is a miracle. But he has never made a big deal about it.”
Today, Mr Yamaguchi believes that God “planted a path” for him. “It was my destiny that I experienced this twice and I am still alive to convey what happened,” he said. So in January this year, he filed a request for double recognition.
Very late in life then, and much to his surprise, the retired engineer finds himself making a small piece of history, and seeing his face in newspapers and on TV across the world. Some have called Mr Yamaguchi the luckiest man alive, but his daughter says he rarely considers such things. “He laughs when asked why he was so lucky,” says Toshiko. “He just doesn’t know.”
Here it is in a simple format. Just click and it will pop open!
Lots of new posts below here! make sure you read them!
1. Who did Johnson choose as his chief of staff for the War on Poverty– a person who had also been the first director of Kennedy’s Peace Corps?
A. Hubert Humphrey
B. Sargent Shriver
C. Robert Kennedy
D. Lady Bird Johnson
E. Harold Pinter
2. The main (civilian) architect of LBJ’s Vietnam strategy was the secretary of defense he inherited from Kennedy named
A. Robert McNamara
B. Howard Hughes
C. Edward Kennedy
D. James Earl Ray
E. Robert Frost
3. In 1956, the US condemned ____ as the aggressors in theSuez crisis.
A. Jiang lost the support and confidence of the Chinese people.
B. the US failed to give the Nationalists aid.
C. the Communists received too much support from the USSR for the US to be able to match.
D. communists within the Truman administration undermined Jiang’s efforts.
E. Korean and Vietnamese communists fought alongside Chinese communists.
A. mutually assured destruction.
B. massive retaliation.
“The torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans, born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage, and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed….”
What vision of world leadership does Kennedy outline for the United States?
How idealistic is his vision of true citizenship?
Here is a link to a brief article outlining the science behind the bomb:
. Make sure especially you remember who Edward Teller is.
The first test took place on Elugaleb Island in the Enewetak Atoll in the Marshall Islands on October 31, 1952. The bomb was referred to by the nickname “the sausage.”
Here is a short film with sound and narration of the first test explosion:
This one shows the shock wave traveling from the bomb:
And here the US entered the “thermonuclear age.” How big was the explosion?
, “The mushroom cloud climbed to 57,000 feet in only 90 seconds, entering the stratosphere. One minute later it reached 108,000 feet, eventually stabilizing at a ceiling of 120,000 feet. Half an hour after the test the mushroom stretched 60 miles across, with the base of the mushroom head joining the stem at 45,000 feet.” The fireball from the explosion reached a width of 3.5 miles. The crater was 6200 feet wide and 164 feet deep.
Here is a before and after photo of Eleugaleb Island:
And as impressive as this was, it was not the largest thermonuclear device ever exploded by the US. That honor went to the CASTLE Bravo Test in 1954, where we accidentally nuked a Japanese fishing boat. More on that coming soon…
The Cold War is still not over in Korea. It is interesting that the very first assumption was that the South Korean ship was sunk by North Korea.
Questions for understanding:
1. What does Eisenhower rate as the main purposes of American government?
2. What domestic power does Eisenhower warn about, and why?
3. How does the American system of government attempt to hold that power in check?
From Public Papers of the Presidents, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960, p. 1035- 1040
My fellow Americans:
Three days from now, after half a century in the service of our country, I shall lay down the responsibilities of office as, in traditional and solemn ceremony, the authority of the Presidency is vested in my successor.
This evening I come to you with a message of leave-taking and farewell, and to share a few final thoughts with you, my countrymen.
Like every other citizen, I wish the new President, and all who will labor with him, Godspeed. I pray that the coming years will be blessed with peace and prosperity for all.
Our people expect their President and the Congress to find essential agreement on issues of great moment, the wise resolution of which will better shape the future of the Nation.
My own relations with the Congress, which began on a remote and tenuous basis when, long ago, a member of the Senate appointed me to West Point, have since ranged to the intimate during the war and immediate post-war period, and, finally, to the mutually interdependent during these past eight years.
In this final relationship, the Congress and the Administration have, on most vital issues, cooperated well, to serve the national good rather than mere partisanship, and so have assured that the business of the Nation should go forward. So, my official relationship with the Congress ends in a feeling, on my part, of gratitude that we have been able to do so much together.
We now stand ten years past the midpoint of a century that has witnessed four major wars among great nations. Three of these involved our own country. Despite these holocausts America is today the strongest, the most influential and most productive nation in the world. Understandably proud of this pre-eminence, we yet realize that America’s leadership and prestige depend, not merely upon our unmatched material progress, riches and military strength, but on how we use our power in the interests of world peace and human betterment.
Throughout America’s adventure in free government, our basic purposes have been to keep the peace; to foster progress in human achievement, and to enhance liberty, dignity and integrity among people and among nations. To strive for less would be unworthy of a free and religious people. Any failure traceable to arrogance, or our lack of comprehension or readiness to sacrifice would inflict upon us grievous hurt both at home and abroad.
Progress toward these noble goals is persistently threatened by the conflict now engulfing the world. It commands our whole attention, absorbs our very beings. We face a hostile ideology — global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insidious in method. Unhappily the danger is poses promises to be of indefinite duration. To meet it successfully, there is called for, not so much the emotional and transitory sacrifices of crisis, but rather those which enable us to carry forward steadily, surely, and without complaint the burdens of a prolonged and complex struggle — with liberty the stake. Only thus shall we remain, despite every provocation, on our charted course toward permanent peace and human betterment.
Crises there will continue to be. In meeting them, whether foreign or domestic, great or small, there is a recurring temptation to feel that some spectacular and costly action could become the miraculous solution to all current difficulties. A huge increase in newer elements of our defense; development of unrealistic programs to cure every ill in agriculture; a dramatic expansion in basic and applied research — these and many other possibilities, each possibly promising in itself, may be suggested as the only way to the road we wish to travel.
But each proposal must be weighed in the light of a broader consideration: the need to maintain balance in and among national programs — balance between the private and the public economy, balance between cost and hoped for advantage — balance between the clearly necessary and the comfortably desirable; balance between our essential requirements as a nation and the duties imposed by the nation upon the individual; balance between actions of the moment and the national welfare of the future. Good judgment seeks balance and progress; lack of it eventually finds imbalance and frustration.
The record of many decades stands as proof that our people and their government have, in the main, understood these truths and have responded to them well, in the face of stress and threat. But threats, new in kind or degree, constantly arise. I mention two only.
A vital element in keeping the peace is our military establishment. Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction.
Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime, or indeed by the fighting men of World War II or Korea.
Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.
This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.
In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
Akin to, and largely responsible for the sweeping changes in our industrial-military posture, has been the technological revolution during recent decades.
In this revolution, research has become central; it also becomes more formalized, complex, and costly. A steadily increasing share is conducted for, by, or at the direction of, the Federal government.
Today, the solitary inventor, tinkering in his shop, has been overshadowed by task forces of scientists in laboratories and testing fields. In the same fashion, the free university, historically the fountainhead of free ideas and scientific discovery, has experienced a revolution in the conduct of research. Partly because of the huge costs involved, a government contract becomes virtually a substitute for intellectual curiosity. For every old blackboard there are now hundreds of new electronic computers.
The prospect of domination of the nation’s scholars by Federal employment, project allocations, and the power of money is ever present and is gravely to be regarded.
Yet, in holding scientific research and discovery in respect, as we should, we must also be alert to the equal and opposite danger that public policy could itself become the captive of a scientific-technological elite.
It is the task of statesmanship to mold, to balance, and to integrate these and other forces, new and old, within the principles of our democratic system — ever aiming toward the supreme goals of our free society.
Another factor in maintaining balance involves the element of time. As we peer into society’s future, we — you and I, and our government — must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering, for our own ease and convenience, the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.
Down the long lane of the history yet to be written America knows that this world of ours, ever growing smaller, must avoid becoming a community of dreadful fear and hate, and be instead, a proud confederation of mutual trust and respect.
Such a confederation must be one of equals. The weakest must come to the conference table with the same confidence as do we, protected as we are by our moral, economic, and military strength. That table, though scarred by many past frustrations, cannot be abandoned for the certain agony of the battlefield.
Disarmament, with mutual honor and confidence, is a continuing imperative. Together we must learn how to compose differences, not with arms, but with intellect and decent purpose. Because this need is so sharp and apparent I confess that I lay down my official responsibilities in this field with a definite sense of disappointment. As one who has witnessed the horror and the lingering sadness of war — as one who knows that another war could utterly destroy this civilization which has been so slowly and painfully built over thousands of years — I wish I could say tonight that a lasting peace is in sight.
Happily, I can say that war has been avoided. Steady progress toward our ultimate goal has been made. But, so much remains to be done. As a private citizen, I shall never cease to do what little I can to help the world advance along that road.
So — in this my last good night to you as your President — I thank you for the many opportunities you have given me for public service in war and peace. I trust that in that service you find some things worthy; as for the rest of it, I know you will find ways to improve performance in the future.
You and I — my fellow citizens — need to be strong in our faith that all nations, under God, will reach the goal of peace with justice. May we be ever unswerving in devotion to principle, confident but humble with power, diligent in pursuit of the Nation’s great goals.
To all the peoples of the world, I once more give expression to America’s prayerful and continuing aspiration:
We pray that peoples of all faiths, all races, all nations, may have their great human needs satisfied; that those now denied opportunity shall come to enjoy it to the full; that all who yearn for freedom may experience its spiritual blessings; that those who have freedom will understand, also, its heavy responsibilities; that all who are insensitive to the needs of others will learn charity; that the scourges of poverty, disease and ignorance will be made to disappear from the earth, and that, in the goodness of time, all peoples will come to live together in a peace guaranteed by the binding force of mutual respect and love.