On Dec. 6, 1941, the U.S. government pledged $2 million to the Manhattan Project, charging scientists with the task of developing the world’s first atomic bomb. Four and a half years later, President Harry S. Truman ordered the deployment of two such bombs over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing more than 170,000 Japanese civilians. While the bombings are credited with bringing a quick and decisive end to World War II, they remain two of the most horrific and deadliest attacks ever committed in modern warfare. Now, thanks to this web site created by Doug Prouty of California’s Costa County Office of Education, students can follow the historic development of the U.S. atomic weapons program from Einstein’s Theory of Relativity to those two fateful days in August 1945 when so many lives were lost. The site provides students with a timeline following the gradual development of the bomb, as well as information about the physics of atomic energy. There are also resources to conduct follow-up research assignments, complementary lesson plans, and historical biographies profiling some of the major players of the atomic era.
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