Enola Gay and the Smithsonian Institution

Enola Gay and the Smithsonian Institution


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Enola Gay and the Smithsonian Institution by Charles T. O'Reilly, William A. Rooney

On August 6, 1945, the B-29 Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, which ushered on the end of World War II. For the 50th anniversary of this major event in world history, the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution produced an exhibit. A controversy erupted, however, over the exhibit’s historical authenticity. Veterans, for example, complained that the museum displayed a misrepresented version of history.
After concisely covering the background of the Enola Gay and its mission, this study focuses on the controversy surrounding the museum exhibit. Issues covered include casualty figures, ethical questions, and political correctness, among others. The viewpoints of such groups as museum personnel, exhibit organizers, veterans, and historians are covered. Appendices offer information on content analysis of the National Air and Space Museum exhibit script, non-museum materials that were intended to complement the exhibit script, and the importance of full disclosure in research.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780786420087
Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
Publication date: 01/11/2005
Pages: 255
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.51(d)

About the Author

Charles T. O’Reilly has taught at Loyola University, the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the State University of New York at Albany. He lives in Wilmette, Illinois. William A. Rooney is a former advertising and communications executive. He lives in Schaumburg, Illinois.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi

Preface 1

1. The NASM Plans an Exhibit 5

2. Why the Battle of the Enola Gay? 23

3. Was Japan Ready to Surrender? 43

4. Unconditional Surrender 59

5. Was Germany an A-Bomb Target? 67

6. The Question of Casualties 87

7. Where Did the 500,000 Come From? 114

8. Defending the Exhibit 133

9. The Moral Question 159

10. Epilogue 167

Appendix A: Is Speculation History? 189

Appendix B: The “Tiger Team” Report 197

Appendix C: Why Not Full Disclosure? 200

Notes 205

Bibliography 237

Index 245

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