Hi Anne again, as I said in my last post I’m a history major and although I enjoy history I do not enjoy the constant stream of long papers that go with it. Eli tempers her history major with a journalism major, something that doesn’t appeal to me. Anyway I have a wonderful paper due by Thursday that is occupying my thoughts at the moment. So you all will get a decadent ramble on the atomic bomb and the revelations that I have had about it.
This mainly has to do with the fact that when we look back at history we see the large picture and judge those who came before us. However, when they made decisions they often knew only a fraction of what we know today. For instance many military documents from the time reveal that most of the military personal and scientists didn’t know the extent of devastation that it could cause. There had only been one test previous and it was in a desert and half of the crew thought it would fail somehow. There was limited knowledge on radiation poisoning and although they could grasp the terror that such a weapon could cause they grossly under calculated the effects.
It intrigues me that what modern people perceive as total understanding of what would happen when an atomic bomb was dropped was in reality the measures of some desperate officials who didn’t quite grasp the dangers that they were unleashing. They could foresee no other possible way to end the way without casualties and choose the one that seemed the best choice.
Now with any historical rambles of mine I don’t claim total mastership of the information, however; I have ideas that I have based off of primary documentation. This is one of the reasons I love history. It is a living form and historians are constantly uncovering new information on the past. For instance the documents that I used for this paper were just declassified in 2005. Things are lost, hidden or suppressed and it is the duty of historians to find this data and use it to present a viable picture of the past.
My own forays into historical study outside of school is limited to my family. Both sides of my family have kept most of the historical documents that they have found over the years and when I am around my relatives that store the information I dig in and explore. My family history isn’t something that I am going to expound on in depth on such an impersonal and public sphere, but I enjoy sharing the little I know.
Most of the information that my mother’s side of the family have saved is the result of my grandfather. He insisted on protecting the information that he was able to get and collected it on his computer. I have access to some of the pictures that he has scanned in and would love to share some of my favorites. Most of them are from the 30’s to the late 60’s, but there are quite a few from way earlier. As a side note the first picture is of my grandparents when grandpa was still in seminary.