Cuban Missile Crisis

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On August 6, 1945, the world changed forever. The United States had sent a B-29 bomber plane named “Enola Gay” to fly over the industrial city of Hiroshima, Japan and drop the first atomic bomb ever – “Little Boy” . The world had never experienced anything like it. One hundred thousand died almost instantly -- most of them were civilians. Three days later, in Nagasaki, another bomb -- “Fat Man” – was dropped. This time roughly forty thousand died. The people of the world were glad to see that the bombs ended most destructive war ever, but over the course of the forty years the world feared a nuclear battle that could wipe out all humankind off of the face of the Earth. The images that were coming from the aftermath of the bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki affected almost every person in the world in all aspects. The image of the mushroom-shaped cloud and the desolate city would remain in every person’s mind as an image of destruction and as a warning of the danger of a nuclear war. The Manhattan Project was the code name for an effort to create an atomic bomb during World War II. It was named for the Manhattan Engineer District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers because most of the early research was done in New York City . Refugee physicists sparked the project soon after German scientists had discovered nuclear fission in 1938. Many American scientists feared that Hitler and the Germans would produce a nuclear bomb; consequently, they contacted Albert Einstein to write a letter to United States President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to help the production of the first nuclear bomb. Roosevelt agreed to assist the scientists and they began the Manhattan Project. The development took place at laboratory at Los Alamos, New Mexico, located on an isolated mesa. The project was to be kept classified under all circumstances. The scientists working at the plant could not even tell their wives about their work, unless they worked there themselves. All the mail in the town was censored; everybody was restricted to a two hundred mile radius and residents were forbidden to tell their friends where they lived. No one in the community had a name; rather everyone was either a “sir” or “mister”. The most serious threat to the security of the project was the hiring of Klaus Fuchs who was found guilty of obtaining top-secret documents and sending them to the Soviet Union.

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