President Harry S. Truman announces the bombing of Hiroshima, a signed copy, 6 August 1945 Overall framed area: 10 1/8 x 7 5/8 in (25.5 x 19.2 cm)

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Lot 347
President Harry S. Truman announces the bombing of Hiroshima, a signed copy, 6 August 1945
Overall framed area: 10 1/8 x 7 5/8 in (25.5 x 19.2 cm)

Sold for US$ 72,100 inc. premium

World War II

5 Jun 2014, 10:00 EDT

New York

President Harry S. Truman announces the bombing of Hiroshima, a signed copy, 6 August 1945
A mimeographed copy, on 4 sheets, of President Truman's statement, dated Aug 6 1945, announcing that "Sixteen hours ago an American airplane dropped one bomb on Hiroshima...," the statement is on the fourth sheet in blue-black ink by President Truman. The paper on which the statement is printed is somewhat toned; framed together with a colored reproduction of a portrait of Truman.
The official confirmation of the start of the "Atomic Age," and the first of two blows that were to end Japan's will to continue fighting. The second blow, the bomb that was dropped on Nagasaki, came on the 9th August; by the 14th August the Emperor had agreed to an unconditional surrender, and on 2 September the instrument of surrender was signed. The presence here of President Truman's signature makes this a truly historic artifact.

The statement continues "That bomb had more power than 20,000 tons of T.N.T. It had more than two thousand times the blast power of the British 'Grand Slam' which is the largest bomb ever yet used in the history of warfare. The Japanese began the war from the air at Pearl Harbor. They have been repaid many fold. And the end is not yet. With this bomb we have now added a new and revolutionary increase in destruction to supplement the growing power of our armed forces. ... It is an atomic bomb. It is a harnessing of the basic power of the universe. The force from which the sun draws its power has been loosed against those who brought war to the Far East. Before 1939, it was the accepted belief of scientists that it was theoretically possible to release atomic energy. But no one knew any practical method of doing it. By 1942, however, we knew that the Germans were working feverishly to find a way to add atomic energy to the other engines of war with which they hoped to enslave the world. But they failed. ... The battle of the laboratories held fateful risks for us as well as the battles of the air, land and sea, and we have now won the battle of the laboratories as we have won the other battles. ... We are now prepared to obliterate more rapidly and completely every productive enterprise the Japanese have above ground in any city. We shall destroy their docks, their factories, and their communications. Let there be no mistake; we shall completely destroy Japan's power to make war. It was to spare the Japanese people from utter destruction that the ultimatum of July 26 was issued at Potsdam. Their leaders promptly rejected that ultimatum. If they do not now accept our terms they may expect a rain of ruin from the air, the like of which has never been seen on this earth. ... The fact that we can release atomic energy ushers in a new era in man's understanding of nature's forces. Atomic energy may in the future supplement the power that now comes from coal, oil, and falling water, but at present it cannot be produced on a basis to compete with them commercially. Before that comes there must be a long period of intensive research.

"It has never been the habit of the scientists of this country or the policy of this Government to withhold from the world scientific knowledge. Normally, therefore, everything about the work with atomic energy would be made public. But under present circumstances it is not intended to divulge the technical processes of production or all the military applications, pending further examination of possible methods of protecting us and the rest of the world from the danger of sudden destruction. I shall recommend that the Congress of the United States consider promptly the establishment of an appropriate commission to control the production and use of atomic power within the United States. I shall give further consideration and make further recommendations to the Congress as to how atomic power can become a powerful and forceful influence towards the maintenance of world peace." Overall framed area: 10 1/8 x 7 5/8 in (25.5 x 19.2 cm)
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