The Day the Sun Rose Twice: The Story of the Trinity Site Nuclear Explosion, July 16, 1945

By Ferenc Morton Szasz | Go to book overview

CHAPTER EIGHT
The International Legacy

The most momentous consequences of Trinity were political ones. The explosion proved that the scientists' theories were correct. As such, it set the stage for both the immediate end World War II and the nuclear arms race.

Groves quickly flashed word to George Harrison, acting chairman of the Interim Committee on S-1(the bomb), in Washington. Harrison, in turn, cabled the news to Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson in Potsdam. The message arrived there at 7:30 P.M. on July 16. It noted, "Operated on this morning. Diagnosis not yet complete but results seem satisfactory and already exceed expectations. Local press release necessary as interest extends a great distance. Dr. Groves pleased. He returns [to Washington ] tomorrow. I will keep you posted." The next evening another message from Harrison stated: " DoctorGroves has just returned most enthusiastic and confident that the little boy is as husky as his big brother. The light in his eyes discernible from here to Highhold and I could hear his screams from here to my farm." This translated as, had the blast gone off in Washington the sound would have traveled to Upperville, Virginia, about forty miles away, and the light could be seen at Highhold, Stimson's Long Island farm, over two hundred miles away. After he read the cable, Stimson turned and said to his companions, John T. McCloy and Harvey H. Bundy, "Well, I have been responsible for spending two billions of dollars on this atomic venture. Now that it is successful I shall not be sent to prison in Fort Leavenworth."1

-145-

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The Day the Sun Rose Twice: The Story of the Trinity Site Nuclear Explosion, July 16, 1945
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface ix
  • Introduction 3
  • Chapter One - The Origins of Los Alamos 7
  • Chapter Two - The Construction and Naming of Trinity 27
  • Chapter Three - Theoretical Considerations 55
  • Chapter Four - The Question of Weather 67
  • Chapter Five - The Blast 79
  • Chapter Six - The Aftermath I: Fallout 115
  • Chapter Seven - The Aftermath II: Cattle, Film, and People 131
  • Chapter Eight - The International Legacy 145
  • Chapter Nine - The Local Legacy 159
  • Epilogue 173
  • Abbreviations 179
  • Notes 181
  • Bibliography 213
  • Index 225
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