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American Research And Development Of An Atomic Bomb

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It was August, 1939. United States President Franklin Roosevelt read a letter sent to him from prominent scientists Albert Einstein and Leo Szilard. The purpose of this letter was to inform the President that the Germans supposedly discovered the secrets to developing nuclear weaponry and to urge the President to do the same. This letter changed the course of human history, setting the stage for the development of weapons that would alter warfare forever (Primary Sources: Letter from Einstein to FDR). The Manhattan Project was the code-name given to the American research and development of an atomic bomb. The high-stakes chess game of World War II was in full swing, and every move each side played created a chain reaction throughout the world, as did the news of the German’s advancements. Even though the United States would not officially enter the war until 1941 (Historical Film Footage: US Enters World War II), the world believed the United States to be the only hope of a German defeat. With the alarming news of the German’s recent discoveries, the Americans needed to quickly assert its dominance in the race to develop new wartime technology. Roosevelt authorized the research of nuclear weapons in January of 1942 (Atomic Timeline). Immediately, government officials placed plans for classified studies into motion at institutions across the country. As explained by the Independence Hall Association, “At first the research was based at only a few universities — Columbia
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