Growing up with the bomb (my early years)

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As I approach my 7th decade I’ve been taking a look back through the years. I am in the first wave of the post war baby boom and remember Duck and Cover, Polio and the flying saucer news of the 1950s. I like to think that is all behind us, but we’ll see what happens in November.

Atomic Cannon

Atomic Cannon at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland

At a press conference on 30 November 1950, Truman was asked about the use of nuclear weapons:

Q. Mr. President, I wonder if we could retrace that reference to the atom bomb? Did we understand you clearly that the use of the atomic bomb is under active consideration?
Truman: Always has been. It is one of our weapons.
Q. Does that mean, Mr. President, use against military objectives, or civilian—
Truman: It’s a matter that the military people will have to decide. I’m not a military authority that passes on those things.
Q. Mr. President, perhaps it would be better if we are allowed to quote your remarks on that directly?
Truman: I don’t think—I don’t think that is necessary.
Q. Mr. President, you said this depends on United Nations action. Does that mean that we wouldn’t use the atomic bomb except on a United Nations authorization?
Truman: No, it doesn’t mean that at all. The action against Communist China depends on the action of the United Nations. The military commander in the field will have charge of the use of the weapons, as he always has

The Atomic Energy Act of 1946 (McMahon Act) determined how the United States would control and manage the nuclear technology it had jointly developed with its World War II allies, the United Kingdom and Canada. Most significantly, the Act ruled that nuclear weapon development and nuclear power management would be under civilian, rather than military control, and established the United States Atomic Energy Commission for this purpose. – Wikipedia


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