Illustrator. Photographer. Random thinker. Um rato de praia.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Obscure Moments in History: Nuclear Tourism

The Bureau of Atomic Tourism was created in 1945 for the promotion of nuclear warfare development. In order to get support from the American public for what would become a devastating, destructive weapon, the bureau organized tours to bring spectators from the general population as close as possible to the testing site.

Trinity Site, located on the northern end of the 3,200-square-mile White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico, was where the first atomic bomb was tested at 5:29:45 a.m. Mountain War Time on July 16, 1945. The 19-kiloton explosion not only led to a quick end to the war in the Pacific but also ushered the world into the atomic age.

Attending the first (and only) nuclear test open to the public was the Anderson family from the Midwest, shown in this photo.

“The effects could well be called unprecedented, magnificent, beautiful, stupendous, and terrifying. No man-made phenomenon of such tremendous power had ever occurred before. The lighting effects were beyond description. The whole countryside was lighted by a searing light with the intensity many times that of the midday sun.”
— Jim Anderson’s eyewitness account of the Trinity Test.

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