President Truman on His Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb

WILLIAMS: The war was over, and Harry S. Truman had not hesitated in using atomic bombs to end it, a decision he stood by for the rest of his life.

SHould have Harry S Truman made the decision to drop the atomic bomb?

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Truman: Decisive President By ALDEN WHITMAN

Just 10 weeks after the defeat of Nazi Germany, President Truman toured the ruins of Berlin. That very day, in the New Mexico desert, the atomic age began. This successful test of the first atomic bomb gave the President a powerful new weapon in the war against Japan.

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Finally tonight, remembering a moment that changed the world. The dropping of the first atomic bomb 60 years ago today. With the ringing of the peace bell and the release of doves, the people of Hiroshima paused to mark the blast that obliterated their city. The use of the bomb was one of the most controversial and consequential decisions ever made by an American President. But the man who took that fateful step never wavered in his belief that it was the right thing to do. Here's NBC's Brian Williams.

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was in full swing in 1943 and Truman was chairing a Senate committee on possible war profiteering committed by American defense plants. In the process of investigating war-production expenditures, Truman stumbled upon a suspicious plant in the state of Washington and asked the plant managers to testify in front of the committee. Unbeknownst to Truman, this particular plant was secretly connected with a program to develop an atomic bomb—”the .” When Stimson, one of a handful of people who knew about the highly classified Manhattan Project, heard about Truman’s line of questioning, he immediately acted to prevent the Missouri senator from blowing the biggest military secret in world history.

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"President Truman on His Decision to Drop the Atomic Bomb." Brian Williams, correspondent. . NBCUniversal Media. 6 Aug. 2005. . Web. 19 January 2015.

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Truman was in Berlin for a summit with Great Britain and the Soviet Union, the Potsdam Conference. It was here that the President got the news of the successful test, and where he reviewed the final list of proposed targets before giving the go-ahead to drop the atomic bomb.

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On April 24, 1945, Stimson and the Army general in charge of the project, Leslie Groves, gave President Truman a full briefing on the development status of the atomic bomb. Before the year was out, the new president would be faced with a decision: whether or not to use the most powerful weapon then known to man.

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President Harry Truman's decision to drop atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is one of the most controversial and consequential decisions ever made by an American President. But as NBC's Brian Williams reports, the man who took that fateful step never wavered in his belief that it was the right thing to do.