We saw the Enola Gay at the air and Space Museum in Virginia – the plane that was involved in one of (if not THE) the most important single decisions of the 20th century (source, source). The short term and long term impact of the use of the atomic bomb have been debated since August of 1945. In our next class, we will be discussing and debating the use of atomic weapons to end to the Pacific War in World War II. To prepare, use the following material online and any other reliable information you discover to develop an option on the use of atomic weapons on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
THE BASIC FACTS – use your “You Decide” handout and the video below to get an overview of the event. You can also consult The Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki from the History Channel. You should all know the basics facts behind the event.
Was the use of the atomic bomb on Japan necessary and justified? It’s a question that is still debated in our society today. Here are some resources that you can use to develop an opinion and take some notes on your overview.
- “A Biography of America – Chapter 23 The Atom Bomb
- Should Truman Have Used the Atomic Bomb?
- The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb – Arguments in Support, Arguments Against
- Perspectives on Dropping the Bomb
- The Decision to Drop the Bomb
- Truman Library – Documents about the Decision
CHOOSE A SIDE AND GET READY TO ARGUE
In your next class, you will have the opportunity to discuss your opinion about the use of atomic weapons by the United States at the end of World War II. You should come to class with a great deal of background about the two sides to the argument, written on your notes. You will be able to choose your side – YES or NO. Make sure you have excellent speaking points for your debate, as you will be evaluated on your participation in class. Your task will be to make arguments that support your position, defend yourself against attacks from the other side, AND/OR ask questions of the people discussing to get further clarification. The more historical detail and argumentation you have, the better!