“[A] new factor in human affairs” (Winston Churchill)

Churchill’s reaction upon hearing of the successful test of the atomic bomb in New Mexico, quoted above, while accurate understates matters based on our visit to Los Alamos, home to the Manhattan Project and the atomic bomb.  See below for other reactions to the bomb’s entrance into world affairs.

bandelier to los alamos

Our route to Los Alamos.

Through Canyonlands 240

Fifty three milliseconds into the first the first bomb test, the blast looked like this.  “Now I am become death, the destroyer of worlds,” pronounced J. Robert Oppenheimer, scientific director of the Manhattan Project, after witnessing the explosion, quoting the Bhagavad-Gita.

hiroshima

Hiroshima.

Through Canyonlands 235

Display in Los Alamos museum showing memorabilia of the the 1946 test at Bikini Atoll in the South Pacific.  For more about Bikini see

http://www.bikiniatoll.com/

Through Canyonlands 238

Surplus naval ships encircled the Atoll to test their ability to survive the blast.

Through Canyonlands 236

A cake replicated the test, down to the naval ships.

Through Canyonlands 237

Reactions to the cake, above, captures some of the contemporary reaction to this new device.

Through Canyonlands 239C

The tests had unintended consequences for those near ground zero.  The above link regarding Bikini Atoll describes some of these consequences.

Through Canyonlands 233

A sandstone block from 9/11 damage to the Pentagon forms the basis for this memorial outside the Los Alamos Science Museum.  A nearby plaque proclaims the “enduring and historic connections” between Los Alamos and the Pentagon’s national security mission.

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One thought on ““[A] new factor in human affairs” (Winston Churchill)

  1. ellen6014

    Your southern route has sure exposed you to the extremes of our history and culture – how interesting! Loved reading the past several posts. I have not spent much time in the south and southwest but would love to explore.

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