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President Truman: The Reasoning for Dropping the Atomic Bomb

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Harry S. Truman was the 33rd president of the United States of America. He became president because Franklin D. Roosevelt died during his term; Truman was Roosevelt’s Vice President at the time. Truman found himself facing some of the greatest challenges met by any 20th-century president. He discovered in July 1945 that some scientists working for the United States government had successfully tested an atomic bomb in New Mexico. President Truman wanted to use the atomic bomb to end the war in the Pacific, but with fewest U.S. catastrophes. This decision was one of the most momentous decisions of the 20th century and extremely perplexing when analyzed.

Harry S. Truman became the 33rd president by the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt. President Roosevelt died on April 12, 1945 from poor health and exhaustion, only three months into his term. This made Harry S. Truman, President, since he was the Vice President when Roosevelt died. About two weeks after the death of Roosevelt, on April 24, Truman received a mysterious letter from Secretary Stimson. In the letter, Stimson referred to a “highly secret matter” he thought Truman needed to know about as soon as possible. The following day, April 25th, the men met in Truman’s office, with General Groves, the military director of the Manhattan Project (O’Neal 24).

America’s development of this secret atomic bomb began back in 1939 when President Roosevelt was still alive. This project was so secretive that Roosevelt did not even want his Vice President Harry S. Truman to know a thing about it. Truman could not believe it, until he read the note from Secretary Stimson. That night he wrote a letter in his diary about the U.S. perfecting an explosive great enough to destroy the world. Tr...

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O'Neal, Michael. President Truman and the Atomic Bomb: Opposing Viewpoints. San Diego, Calif.: Greenhaven Press, 1990. Print.

Sullivan, Edward T.. "Trinity and Judgment Day." The Ultimate Weapon: The Race to Develop the Atomic Bomb. New York: Holiday House, 2007. 77-97 & 98-109. Print.

"Truman is briefed on Manhattan Project." History.com. A&E Television Networks, n.d. Web. 2 Mar. 2014. .
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