Here Are 18 Facts about the United States Nuclear Weapons Program History That Run So Much Deeper Than You Knew
Here Are 18 Facts about the United States Nuclear Weapons Program History That Run So Much Deeper Than You Knew

Here Are 18 Facts about the United States Nuclear Weapons Program History That Run So Much Deeper Than You Knew

Larry Holzwarth - October 13, 2018

Here Are 18 Facts about the United States Nuclear Weapons Program History That Run So Much Deeper Than You Knew
Godzilla – and the Atomic Ray – are just two of the creations of fiction and culture which resulted from the release of the atomic age. Wikimedia

18. The atomic bomb and culture

In the 1950s the atomic bomb changed world culture, political discourse, literature, comic books, films, television, music, and even fashion. The new two-piece women’s swimwear was given the name bikini by its designer, after the atoll which was by then too hot to occupy. Nuclear fission created nuclear fiction. Nuclear explosions and radiation became plot devices in all sorts of entertainment. Nuclear weapons were used to battle and create monsters of all types, from Godzilla to the Blob. They were deployed against invading aliens, and the creation of a doomsday machine, which would destroy the world of its own accord, appeared in several novels and films, including the black comedy Dr. Strangelove. It was an irradiated spider which was responsible for the birth of Spiderman, and atomic bombs were featured in the creation stories for a new religion, Scientology.

The Cold War and the threat of nuclear annihilation brought about literature based on espionage, sabotage, and the capture of nuclear weapons and facilities by both sides of the socio-political divide. It became a major debating point during national elections; in 1960 John Kennedy warned of the growing “missile gap” between the United States and the USSR, at a time when US nuclear weapons outnumbered those of the Soviets by a factor of more than 8 to 1. Throughout the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, the Soviets and the United States engaged in an arms race which centered around nuclear superiority, as well as the means to protect their respective nuclear arsenals, including submarines and anti-submarine warfare capability, missiles and tracking satellites, better and faster bombers, and massive espionage programs. The atomic weapons programs of several nations have dominated international diplomacy since 1945, and no doubt will continue to do so for the foreseeable future.

 

Where do we find this stuff? Here are our sources:

“In Mortal Hands: A Cautionary History of the Nuclear Age”. Stephanie Cooke. 2009

“Operation Crossroads: Operation Crossroads, Nuclear Weapons Test at Bikini Atoll, 1946”. Naval History and Heritage Command.

“Crossroads at Bikini”. Thomas N. Daly, US Naval Institute Proceedings. July 1986

“No Place to Hide”. David Bradley. 1948

“Non-Strategic Nuclear Weapons”. Hans M. Kristensen, Federation of American Scientists Special Report No. 3. May, 2012. Online

“M65 Atomic Cannon ‘Atomic Annie'”. Globalsecurity.org

“US discloses accidents involving nuclear weapons”. Richard Halloran, The New York Times. May 26, 1981

“Blind Man’s Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage”. Sherry Sontag, Christopher Drew, Annette Lawrence Drew. 1998

“Newly Exposed Documents Reveal a Hidden Chapter on the Sunken Russian Submarine K-219”. Michael Peck, The National Interest. October 29, 2016

“US nuclear weapons: The secret history”. Chuck Hansen. 1988

“Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, Special Weapons Primer”. John Pike, Federation of American Scientists. October 25, 1998. Online

“Do We Still Need a Nuclear Triad?” John Barry, News Week Magazine. December 12, 2009

“Where Does NORAD’s Santa Tracker Really Come From?” Yoni Applebaum, The Atlantic. December 24, 2015

“FBI focusing on portable nuke threat”. Nicholas Horrock, United Press International. December 20, 2001

“The Political Effects of Nuclear Weapons”. Robert Jervis, International Security. Fall, 1988. Online

“How the Bomb Changed Everything”. Samira Ahmed, BBC Culture. July 2, 2015. Online

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