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DATE

EVENT

1931

Heavy Hydrogen or deuterium is discovered by


Harold C. Urey.

1932

The atom is split by John Crockcroft and E.T.S.


Walton of Great Britain thereby proving
Einstein's Theory of Relativity.

1933

Hungarian physicist Leo Szilard realizes the


possibility of the nuclear chain reaction.

1934

The first nuclear fission is achieved by Enrico


Fermi of Italy.

1939

The Theory of Nuclear Fission is announced by


Lise Meitner and Otto Frisch.

January 26, 1939

At a conference at George Washington


University, Niels Bohr announces the discovery of
fission.

January 29,1939

Robert Oppenheimer realizes the military


possibilities of nuclear fission.

August 2, 1939

Albert Einstein writes to President Franklin


Roosevelt concerning the use of uranium as a
new source of energy leading to the formation of
the Committee on Uranium.

September 1, 1939

World War II Begins.

February 23, 1941

Plutonium is discovered by Glenn Seaborg.

October 9, 1941

FDR gives the go-ahead for the development of


an atomic weapon.

December 6, 1941

FDR authorizes the Manhattan Engineering


District for the purpose of creating an atomic
bomb. This would later be called the 'Manhattan
Project'.

September 23, 1942

Colonel Leslie Groves is placed in charge of the


Manhattan Project. J. Robert Oppenheimer
becomes the Project's Scientific Director.

December 2, 1942

First controlled nuclear fission reaction is

produced by Enrico Fermi at the University of


Chicago.
May 5, 1943

Japan becomes the primary target for any future


atomic bomb according to the Military Policy
Committee of the Manhattan Project.

April 12, 1945

Franklin Roosevelt dies. Harry Truman is named


the 33rd President of the US.

April 27, 1945

The Target Committee of the Manhattan Project


select four cities as possible targets for the
atomic bomb. They are: Kyoto, Hiroshima,
Kokura, and Niigata.

May 8, 1945

War ends in Europe.

May 25, 1945

Leo Szilard attempts to warn President Truman


in person concerning the dangers of atomic
weapons.

July 1, 1945

Leo Szilard begins a petition to get President


Truman to call off using the atomic bomb in
Japan.

July 13,1945

American intelligence discovers the only obstacle


to peace with Japan is 'unconditional surrender'.

July 16, 1945

The world's first atomic detonation takes place in


the 'Trinity Test' at Alamogordo, New Mexico.

July 21, 1945

President Truman orders atomic bombs to be


used.

July 26, 1945

Potsdam Declaration is issued, calling for the


'unconditional surrender of Japan'.

July 28, 1945

Potsdam Declaration is rejected by Japan.

August 6, 1945

Little Boy, a uranium bomb, is detonated over


Hiroshima, Japan. It kills between 90,000 and
100,000 people immediately. Harry Truman's
Press Release

August 7, 1945

U.S. decides to drop warning pamphlets on


Japanese cities.

August 9, 1945

The second atomic bomb to hit Japan, Fat Man,

was scheduled to be dropped at Kokura.


However, because of poor weather the target
was moved to Nagasaki.
August 9, 1945

President Truman addresses the nation.

August 10, 1945

U.S. drops warning leaflets on Nagasaki.

September 2, 1945

Japan announces its formal surrender.

October, 1945

Edward Teller approaches Robert Oppenheimer


to aid in the building of a new hydrogen bomb.
Oppenheimer refuses.