Convinced that the H-bomb was a genocidal device that would cause excessive destruction, Oppenheimer believed an international agency should regulate nuclear weapons. He argued that the United States could secure its defense with a stockpile of atomic arms. However, at the height of the Cold War, defense hawks and anti-Communists saw Oppenheimer’s view as unpatriotic. Edward Teller and Lewis Strauss, two advocates for the hydrogen bomb, contributed to Oppenheimer’s humiliation in hearings that stripped him of his security clearance forever. The US-Soviet arms race would escalate for years.
Today, the world is attempting to control nuclear proliferation through diplomacy and treaties. In 1996, the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty prohibited nations from using bombs for either military or research purposes. Forty-one states with nuclear capabilities have signed the treaty, but it cannot take effect until three more nations join. India, Pakistan, and North Korea are among the countries that have refused. Although the United States has signed the treaty, it has not ratified it yet.
As new nuclear states threaten to emerge and the international community strives to prevent proliferation, uncertainty and fear grow. Will terrorists obtain nuclear materials? Will nations be able to agree to contain weapons of mass destruction, or will a coming confrontation go nuclear?
A nostalgic and humorous look at how old world Chicago lives side by side with the new.
Politics, culture, race relations, and technology in a year of change.
The personal journey of three generations of a Japanese American family, including their stint in internment camps during World War II.
The U.S. and the Soviet Union race to build the hydrogen bomb during the Cold War, thus beginning the nuclear arms race.
"The Wizard of Menlo Park," Inventor Thomas Edison, built the first practical light bulb and revolutionized the world.
A look at the poor Scottish emigrant boy who built a fortune in telegraphy, railroads and steel, and then began systematically to give it all away.
The story of a Vietnamese mother, the Amerasian daughter she sent away for adoption, and their reunion 22 years after the Vietnam War.
During the defining months of the offensive against Germany, American forces faced a moral and strategic dilemma.