Let’s start class with a group conversation on yesterday’s essential question based on the groups we formed yesterday, seen in this here Atomic Bomb Group Pairing.  Our goal is to not necessarily argue our point, but rather to hear and understand as many perspectives as possible, and explain why the author has the stance they do. Afterward, we’re getting into how decisions made decades ago can impact our current events and relationships.

Students will read this awesome article highlighting how U.S. presidents to this day deal with the aftermath of the decision made by President Harry Truman in August of 1945: “In Obama’s Visit to Hiroshima, a Complex Calculus of Asian Politics”. Respond to the following questions in this here graphic organizer: The Atomic Age after WWII!

  • What was unique about President Obama’s visit to Hiroshima?
  • What was/were the goal(s) of President Obama’s visit?
  • Draw one comparison between how a decision at the end of both World Wars have incredibly long-lasting impacts on a country on a losing side of war.
  • Assess why President Obama did not apologize for the U.S.’ use of the Atomic Bomb.
  • A Survivor’s Tale: How Hiroshima Shaped a Japanese-America Family (click to read.) How did the atomic bomb shape Kikue Takagi’s family?

Finally, watch John Oliver’s video on the incredibly precarious situation America’s nuclear arsenal is in.  Write a short paragraph reflecting on the totality of this information.  What does it mean to live in the Nuclear/Atomic Age? What BIG IDEA has all of this information left you to consider about the world we live in an age of massive stockpiles of nuclear weapons (see: NUKEMAP) and the remnants of military fallout (see: Propublica’s Bombs in Your Backyard).

It is important to consider the scientific developments leading toward our era of nuclear energy.  Consider this presentation by a nuclear physicist as he weaves the historical context of the development of a radioactive element in impacting our understanding of nuclear energy.

And just for some historiographic cultural inquiryyy, check out this internet sensation from 2003:


By Friday at the end of class, students will submit the following (in order).  Each assignment is worth 10 points.

  1. Imperialism in Asia during the Age of Anxiety (Monday, Jan. 14)
  2. WWII Endgame and Fallout – Lecture Guide & A-Bomb Sources (Tues., Jan. 15)
  3. The Atomic Age after WWII! – Reading Response Guide (Wednesday, Jan. 16)

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