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Hiroshima - What We Think

From: Richard Paul
Length: 06:32

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How American public opinion has changed in the 60 years since Hiroshima

Laxcartoon_small In the first days after atomic bombs were dropped, 86% of Americans thought it was the right thing to do. By the 60th anniversary of the bombings, the nation was split 47/46. This story takes a look at what brought us to this change in thinking by looking at what Americans saw, heard and read in the intervening years.

Piece Description

In the first days after atomic bombs were dropped, 86% of Americans thought it was the right thing to do. By the 60th anniversary of the bombings, the nation was split 47/46. This story takes a look at what brought us to this change in thinking by looking at what Americans saw, heard and read in the intervening years.

Broadcast History

Originally aired 8/5/05 on NPR's Morning Edition

Transcript

HOST INTRO : Tomorrow we mark the 60th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima … American public opinion about the bombing has changed a lot over the years. Producer Richard Paul takes a look at how and why.

To every generation, the past becomes something different. The Atomic Bombing of Japan that ended World War Two is no exception.

[Movie clip - A Tale of Two Cities
ANNOUNCER: The bomb was exploded above the city and in the towering mushroom, Japan could read its doom.]

[WINKLER: Every generation re-writes history, as indeed it must. This is simply part and parcel of the very nature of history itself.]

Alan Winkler is a history professor at Miami University in Ohio and author of “Life Under a Cloud: American Anxiety About the Atom”. And he says the different ways of thinking about the bomb emerged over a period of several years.

[WINKLER: There was enormous re...
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Timing and Cues

in: To every generation
OQ: Richard Paul in Washington