All Weekend, Every Weekend. On C-SPAN3.

Truman's Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb

Nagasaki, Japan  August 9, 1945

Nagasaki, Japan August 9, 1945

Washington, DC
Sunday, August 24, 2014

Panelists debate whether the use of the atomic bomb was morally sound, necessary to end the war, or the first shot of the Cold War. With thousands of combatants and civilians dying each month, President Truman faced an ethical dilemma – as he put it – about “which innocents to save.” This event was co-hosted by the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum and the Truman Little White House – and was part of the 2014 Truman Legacy Symposium. 

Updated: Sunday, August 24, 2014 at 3:59pm (ET)

Related Events

Lectures in History: President Harry S. Truman & Gen. Douglas MacArthur
Saturday, October 27, 2012     

Professor Eliot Cohen examines the relationship between President Harry S. Truman and General Douglas MacArthur. In 1951, during the Korean War, President Truman relieved General MacArthur of his command. This class is from Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies.

President Truman's Grandson Visits Hiroshima
Sunday, December 9, 2012     

President Truman’s eldest grandson – Clifton Truman Daniel – traveled to Japan in August, arriving in Hiroshima as the city prepared to mark the anniversary of the 1945 atomic bombing. Mr. Daniel talked about his trip with us, the first ever for a Truman to Japan. Hear about his meetings with atomic bomb survivors, and about his visit to Peace Memorial Park where he stood before the statue of a young girl named Sadako whose story inspired his journey.  

Life Portraits: Harry Truman
Sunday, October 27, 2013     

In this program from our 1999 "American Presidents: Life Portraits" series we focused on Harry Truman's life and career. Historians addressed his rise to office after the death of Franklin Roosevelt, his reelection and second term, as well as his leadership during the Korean War. The program, which includes archival audio recordings and film, was recorded at the Harry Truman Presidential Library in Independence, Missouri. 

The Presidency: Harry Truman
Sunday, February 16, 2014     

Jon Taylor – author of “Harry Truman’s Independence: The Center of the World” – recounts the 33rd president’s life story and the importance of his Missouri hometown. Truman spent 64 of his 88 years in Independence, and it was there he returned to a hero’s welcome after leaving the White House. Mr. Taylor spoke at the Jackson County Historic Truman Courthouse, just blocks from the Truman home.  

Truman's Atomic Energy Legacy
Saturday, July 5, 2014     

We hear from a panel of authors gathered at the Harry S. Truman Little White House in Key West, Florida to consider the 33rd president’s atomic energy legacy. They focus on the use of atomic energy after World War II, and the Truman administration’s interest in civilian as well as military use. This program was part of the 12th Annual Truman Legacy Symposium.

Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall
Sunday     

Historians and law professors met at the University of Baltimore Law School to discuss Mick Caouette’s film “Mr. Civil Rights: Thurgood Marshall and the NAACP.” They explored Marshall’s early law career as well as his work in the South to expand voting rights for African Americans. We also hear about his arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court, and how he became the first African American appointed to the highest court in the land.  

The Presidency: John Quincy Adams
Sunday     

A conversation with author Fred Kaplan about his biography, “John Quincy Adams: American Visionary.” Although he was not remembered for being a great president, Fred Kaplan argues that John Quincy Adams was one of the most intellectual commanders in chief, and also the best Secretary of State in American history. The New-York Historical Society hosted this event. 

Herbert Hoover, Henry Wallace & Cold War America
Sunday     

American History TV traveled to the Library of Congress Kluge Center in Washington, DC, which was established in 2000 and endowed by philanthropist John W. Kluge. The center welcomes over 100 scholars every year to pursue their research interests at one of the world's largest libraries. We spoke with Vanderbilt University lecturer Kevin Kim about his upcoming book about Herbert Hoover and Henry Wallace, and their impact on America's Cold War policy.

Naval Warfare in the American Revolution
Sunday     

Historian Dennis Conrad of the Naval History and Heritage Command discusses how strategies used by colonial naval captains contributed to the success of the American Revolution. Mr. Conrad also describes how ships from the colonies – then called the Continental Navy-- fought not just in the Atlantic but also saw action as far away as the Mediterranean Sea and the Indian Ocean. This event was sponsored by the Society of Cincinnati and took place at the Anderson House in Washington D.C. 

American Artifacts: The National Garden
Sunday     

From the founding of the United States, George Washington encouraged the creation of a botanic garden in the nation’s capital that would inspire and educate citizens on plants and their uses. This vision was realized in 1820 when Congress created the U.S. Botanic Garden on the capitol grounds.  The most recent addition, the National Garden, features plants of the Mid-Atlantic, including a Rose Garden and Regional Garden.  Plant curator Bill McLaughlin explained the history and use of some of the country’s indigenous plants by Native Americans, colonials, and others.

Share This Event Via Social Media
C-SPAN on Twitter (late 2012)