70 YEARS AGO: ATOMIC BOMBING OF JAPAN—Barbaric Tactic or Quick Way to End the War?
In July 1945, President Harry Truman learned that American scientists had successfully built the world’s first atomic bomb. Although Germany had surrendered two months earlier, ending World War II in Europe, the United States remained at war with Japan. Truman knew that dropping an atom bomb, the most destructive weapon humans had ever invented, would cause devastation on a massive scale, potentially killing tens of thousands of civilians. But he also knew it would likely end the war. President Truman approved its use, and in August 1945—70 years ago this summer—the United States detonated two atomic bombs over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Did President Truman make the right decision?
Let your students get the facts and decide for themselves: Was the atomic bombing of Japan a barbaric tactic or a quick way to end the war? Be sure to check out Issues & Controversies in American History‘s clear and unbiased examination of the atomic bombing of Japan, including an overview video, photographs, maps and charts, a bibliography, timeline, primary sources, and related websites.
Issues & Controversies in American History is an accessible educational database that delivers dynamic, concise, and balanced coverage providing the background, outcome, and contemporary points of view for every major debate and conflict in American history.