The Day That President Truman Announced The Development Of The H Bomb (VIDEO)

Photo: politico

It was 67 years ago today that President Harry S. Truman announced to the American people his decision to support the development of the incredibly powerful hydrogen bomb. This was in response to the U.S. losing nuclear supremacy when the Soviet Union successfully tested their atomic bomb just a few months prior. Truman had also recently found out that Klaus Fuchs, one of the top-ranking scientists of the U.S. nuclear program, was actually a spy for the Soviets. When he realized that the Soviets knew everything the Americans did regarding the bomb, he approved a significant amount of funding to go towards what he called the world’s first “superbomb.”

The hydrogen bomb was theorized to be hundreds of times more powerful than the atomic bombs used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan during WWII. Just over two years after the announcement was made the United States regained nuclear supremacy when they successfully tested the world first hydrogen bomb they referred to as “Mike.” The devastation caused by the bomb was significantly more than was expected. The test took place on the Elugelab Atoll in the Pacific Marshall Islands and the 10.4 megaton thermonuclear device instantly vaporized the entire island which left a crater into the Earth that stretched over a mile wide. Within 90 seconds the mushroom cloud reached 57,000 feet and just a minute later had nearly doubled before finally stabilizing at 120,000 feet. Three years later the Soviet Union successfully tested their H-bomb and for the first time in history, the world lived under the threat of a thermonuclear war that could quite easily devastate the entire planet.