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Hiroshima Day Quiz

Sunday, 7 August 2011. We gathered at the gates of the Y12 Nuclear Weapons Complex for the Sunday vigil”as we have every Sunday for the last eleven years. After reading the Peace Declaration published by the Mayor of Hiroshima, we tested our wits with the Hiroshima Day quiz. You can take the quiz now (answers at then end”no peeking!); if you don’t know the answers now, by the time you’ve graded your paper, you will!


prepared for the Sunday Vigil • August 7, 2011

Y12 Nuclear Weapons Complex • Oak Ridge, TN


1. What did Harry Truman write in his diary at Potsdam on July 18, 1945, after receiving word the atomic bomb test at Trinity was a success?


A. We have discovered the most terrible bomb in the history of the world. It may be the fire distruction [destruction] prophesied in the Euphrates Valley Era, after Noah and his fabulous Ark.


B. Believe Japs will fold up before Russia comes in.


C. I fear machines are ahead of morals by some centuries and when morals catch up perhaps there’ll be no reason for any of it. I hope not. But we are only termites on the planet, and maybe one day there will be a reckoning.


D. I have told the Secretary of War, Mr. Stimson to use it so that military objectives and soldiers and sailors are the target and not women and children.



2. How much money did the United States spend on the Manhattan Project from 1943-1945?


A. $ 700,000,000 (seven hundred million)


B. $ 1,200,000,000 (one billion, two hundred million)


C. $ 2,000,000,000 (two billion)


D. $ 60,000,000 (sixty million)



3. Which of these scientists did not sign the petition sent to President Truman on July 17, 1945, the day after the Trinity test that said, in part: “Thus a nation which sets the precedent of using these newly liberated forces of nature for purposes of destruction may have to bear the responsibility of opening the door to an era of devastation on an unimaginable scale?”


A. Eugene Wigner


B. Leo Tzilard


C. Albert Einstein


D. John S. Simpson, Jr.



4. With which of these sentiments did Harry S. Truman reply to an August 9 telegram from Samuel Calvert, General Secretary of the Federal Council of Churches?


A. The dropping of these devastating bombs can not but be regretted as a necessary act of war.


B. If God did not want us to use atomic bombs, God would not have allowed us to split the atom.


C. When you have to deal with a beast, you have to treat him as a beast.


D. I find myself in these troubling days seeking the counsel of God’s spirit more and more.



5. What did Fleet Admiral William D. Leahy say to President Truman when he learned of plans to build an atomic bomb?


A. Our highest priority must be to develop this bomb before the enemy.


B. This is the biggest fool thing we have ever done.


C. We must draw the force of nature to our side in order to prevail over those who threaten us.


D. Had we only developed this capacity earlier, we should have used it to good effect in Germany.



6. Which of these military leaders supported the dropping of the bomb on Hiroshima?


A. General Dwight D. Eisenhower


B. Admiral William Leahy


C. Undersecretary of the Navy Ralph Bard


D. General Curtis LeMay



7. Which European country, responsible for looking after American interests in Japan in 1945, prepared a report on the bombing of Hiroshima?


A. Switzerland


B. Germany


C. France


D. Sweden



8. Which of these statements was included in the report cited above, dated August 11, 1945?


A. Not only is the city of Hiroshima a provincial town without any protection or special military installations of any kind, but also none of the neighboring region of this town constitutes a military objective.


B. This, bomb, provided with a parachute, has a destructive force of great scope as a result of its explosion in air. It is technically impossible to limit the effect of its use to special objectives as designated by the President, and the American authorities are perfectly aware of this.


C. The bombs in question, used by the Americans, by their cruelty and by their needless terrorizing effects, surpass by far any gas or any other arms, the use of which is prohibited.


D. The Americans have effected bombardments of towns in the greatest part of Japanese territory, without discrimination massacring a great number of old people, women and children, destroying and burning down Shinto and Buddhist temples, schools, hospitals, living quarters, etc. They have shown complete defiance of the essential principles of humanitarian as well as international law.


E. They now use this new bomb, having an uncontrollable and cruel effect much greater than any other arms or projectiles ever used to date. This constitutes a new crime against humanity and civilization.



9. How long was the report cited above withheld by the US government before it was publicly released?


A. Six weeks


B. Six months
C. One year


D. Twenty-five years



10. How much money has the United States spent on its nuclear arsenal since 1943?


A. $ 1,000,000,000,000 (one trillion)


B. $ 75,300,000,000 (seventy-five billion, three hundred million)


C. $ 750,000,000,000 (seven hundred fifty billion)


D. $ 5,200,000,000,000 (five trillion, two hundred billion)



11. How did General Eisenhower describe Secretary of War Henry Stimson’s reaction when he (Eisenhower) opined there was no need to invade or bomb Japan because they were on the verge of surrender?


A. Delighted with the news


B. Deeply perturbed


C. Thoughtfully reflective


D. Cautiously optimistic



12. How did President Truman describe the development of the atomic bomb in the press statement announcing the bombing of Hiroshima?


A. A regrettable but necessary step toward bringing the war to a conclusion


B. The greatest achievement of organized science in history


C. My birthday present to Bess


D. The devil’s work done by angels



13. What language did President Truman use to describe US intentions in the press statement announcing the bombing of Hiroshima?


A. The United States now carries the heavy burden of using these devastating weapons, or constraining their use, according to the dictates of moral law.


B. I am instructing the Congress to begin to develop plans for the immediate sharing of scientific knowledge with other countries in the hope that together we will bear the burden of constraining the use of these powerful weapons.


C. We are now prepared to obliterate more rapidly and completely every productive enterprise the Japanese have above ground in any city.


D. With the achievement of this great scientific advancement comes a concomitant responsibility to act with restraint, in full consideration of the principles of common humanitarian law and the rules of war.



14. How much does the government estimate the new bomb plant”the Uranium Processing Facility”to be built at Y12 will cost taxpayers?


A. $ 600,000,000 (six hundred million)


B. $ 3,200,000,000 (three billion, two hundred million)


C. $ 7,500,000,000 (seven billion, five hundred thousand)


D. How could we possibly know? The last estimate is almost two weeks old, and the cost of the project has likely continued its rocket-fueled ascent into outer space.





Answers to the Hiroshima Day Quiz (no cheating!)

1. B. Truman wrote each of these things in his diary or papers, but B is what he wrote on July 18;

2. C 3. C 4. C 5. B 6. D 7. A

8. All. Each of these statements appear in the report of the Swiss Legation.

9. D 10. D 11. B 12. B 13. C 14. C or D



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Sunday Vigil at Y-12 in Oak Ridge Tennessee

Sunday Vigil

OREPA has held Sunday vigils every week for more than 22 years at the main entrance to the Y-12 Nuclear Weapons Complex (intersection of Scarboro Rd and East Bear Creek Road). We will now be holding the vigil at 4:00PM ET during the winter months so we don’t have to be sitting out in the dark. We are outdoors and space our chairs; when covid numbers are up, we encourage people to wear masks. Bring your own chair, we have some umbrellas for sun shade or rain.

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