This section provides an overview of the history of the Manhattan Project, the key organizations involved, the science behind the bomb, and more.
The Army tapped the vast pool of GIs possessing scientific and technical backgrounds, assigning them to the Special Engineer Detachment.
During the 1980s, President Ronald Reagan initiated the Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI), otherwise known as "Star Wars," an anti-ballistic missile program that was designed to shoot down nuclear missiles in space.
Manhattan Project members participated in early missions to survey the two atomic bombing sites—Hiroshima and Nagasaki—after the Japanese surrender in August 1945.
By the end of 1945, the atomic bombings of Japan had killed an estimated 140,000 people at Hiroshima and 74,000 at Nagasaki. Often lost in those numbers are the experiences of the survivors, known as the hibakusha.
Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev decided that the time had come to erect a wall between the eastern and western portions of Berlin. In 1961, preliminary construction of the Berlin Wall began.
In 1939, Albert Einstein sent FDR a letter urging the US conduct research into an atomic bomb.
Soon after the Interim Committee concluded that the atomic bomb should be used as soon as possible against Japan, a group of scientists led by physicist James Franck founded a committee to study the question of the bomb's use.
Before computers became the modern electric desktops or laptops of today, “computers” actually referred to the people who did computing or calculations of equations.
In the aftermath of the attack on Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt ordered the "evacuation" of Japanese Americans to relocation and internment camps under Executive Order 9066.