Students engage with primary resources to form opinions on the decision to drop the bomb.
- Video of the Trinity test
- The Manhattan Project by Cynthia Kelly (specifically the readings from sections 7 and 8 and “Oppenheimer’s Speech to Los Alamos Scientists”)
- Photos from the aftermath of the bomb in Japan
- Have students read testimonies of the crewmen of the Enola Gay, as well as survivors of the bombings Hiroshima and Nagasaki
- Students should also read President Truman’s radio address about Hiroshima on August 9, available here
Students will assume the role of a newspaper reporter assigned to Hiroshima or Nagasaki soon after the atomic bomb was dropped. They will write an in-depth article about the bombing and its aftermath, including the devastation it caused and the Japanese surrender. Like good reporters in their attempt to be impartial, students must include quotes and perspectives on the use of the bomb from the United States government, members of the U.S. military, scientists on the Manhattan Project, and survivors of Hiroshima. If there is interest, students may also wish to turn the story into a radio broadcast or television news story in which the news anchors interview representatives of each of these four groups.