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Author to Speak on Hiroshima and Nagasaki

July 27, 2009

Ted Spitzmiller, author, nuclear weapons specialist, and flight instructor, will be presenting lectures about the historic 1945 bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, events considered by many as the beginning of the “Atomic Age.”  Spitzmiller will speak at 11:00 a.m. & 2:00 p.m. on August 8th at the Museum. The lectures are FREE with regular museum admission: $8 for adults, $7 for seniors/youth, children under 5 are free.

The objective of these presentations is to better understand the views of those involved and the environment of the time in which the decision was made.  As part of this, visitors will observe some of the factors that made WWII different from previous conflicts and to examine the various points of views of those involved in making the decision to drop.  Sixty four years later, the technology and science derived from this project are most prevalent in the energy and medicine world, but can be found in numerous modern applications. Spitzmiller is well versed on this topic, having flown more than 4,000 hours in over 60 different types of aircraft, and having more than 40 articles and two book publications.

“That era of history, particularly the time in which Fat Man and Little Boy were used, is worth learning about at any age” said Jim Walther, Director of the Museum. “We hope visitors will expand their understanding of those difficult times by attending.”

The main subject of the presentation will be the decision to use the Atomic Bombs against Japan at the end of WWII.  On August 6th, 1945, the United States Air Force dropped a uranium based “gun” type nuclear fission detonation device on Hiroshima, Japan.  Nicknamed “Little Boy”, this weapon was the second artificial nuclear explosion in history, having followed the famed Trinity Test in southern New Mexico.  Three days later the 393rd Bombardment Squadron of the United States Air Force flew over Japan again, dropping “Fat Man” onto the city of Nagasaki on August 9th, 1945.  This time, however, the weapon was equipped with an implosion type plutonium core, similar to the device tested at Trinity weeks earlier. 

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