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.

The Presidency: George Washington & the Frontier
Sunday     

After the American Revolution – and before he was elected the first president of the United States – George Washington retired from public life. During that time, he traveled to western Virginia to check on his landholdings. Author Edward Larson talks about this journey and how it contributed to Washington’s interest in western expansion and propelled his efforts to link the east and west through the Potomac River. George Washington’s Mount Vernon hosted this event. 

JFK Assassination and the CIA
Sunday     

Retired U.S. Army Intelligence officer & former NSA executive assistant John Newman discusses declassified documents and codenames related to the CIA, Cuba & the assassination.  Newman is the author of “JFK and Vietnam” and “Oswald and the CIA.” This is part of an Assassination Archives and Research Center conference marking the 50th anniversary of the release of the Warren Commission Report entitled, “The Warren Report and the JFK Assassination: A Half Century of Significant Disclosures.”  

American Artifacts: Russell Senate Office Building
Sunday     

Opened in 1909, the Russell Senate Office Building relieved crowded conditions in the U.S. Capitol. Senate Historian Donald Ritchie explains why the Senate needed to expand and describes some of the many historic investigations that have taken place in the Senate Caucus Room, including the 1912 Titanic & the 1920s Teapot Dome hearings. This is the first of a two-part program.

Multiracial Coalitions & Civil Rights
Sunday     

A former member of the Black Panther Party, Bill Jennings, joins author Lauren Araiza to discuss multiracial coalitions during the civil rights movements of the 1960s and 70s.

Reel America: "A Time for Choosing" - 1964
Sunday     

On October 27, 1964, future president Ronald Reagan delivered a 30-minute television campaign speech for Republican presidential candidate Barry Goldwater. Later titled the "A Time for Choosing" speech, it raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the Goldwater campaign and helped launch Reagan's political career.

Share This Event Via Social Media
Washington Journal (late 2012)