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The joint work of the scientists at Los Alamos resulted in the first nuclear explosion near Alamogordo on July 16, 1945, the site of which Oppenheimer named "Trinity", Oppenheimer later said this name was from one of John Donne's Holy Sonnets. According to the historian Gregg Herken, this naming could have been an allusion to Jean Tatlock (who had introduced him to Donne when they had dated in the 1930s), who had committed suicide a few months previously. He later recalled that while witnessing the explosion he thought of a verse from the Hindu holy book, the Bhagavad Gita:
If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the mighty one...
Years later he would explain that another verse had also entered his head at that time:
"We knew the world would not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried, most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad-Gita. Vishnu is trying to persuade the Prince that he should do his duty and to impress him takes on his multi-armed form and says, 'Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.' I suppose we all thought that one way or another."
According to his brother, at the time he simply exclaimed, "It worked." News of the successful test was rushed to President Harry S. Truman, who authorized the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Japan. Oppenheimer later became an important figure in the debates on the repercussions of this act.
Originally posted by Duby78
You are welcome, DearWife. That's quite an interesting story you have posted!
When I was 6-7 years old kid, my dreams were often haunted by a nuclear war. I can remember some of them quite vividly even now, like they are yesterday's dreams. And it's been more then 20 years since then. I especially remember one dream. I was standing in my garden. It was a beautiful spring afternoon, skies completely clear. When I looked upwards, I saw a missile slowly descending from the skies, flying high over me and leaving a trail in the sky. In my dream, I knew it is an atomic weapon, and that it is American missile. And that it is about to explode. Then the sirens started wailing. And the dream ended. Now, what I find interesting is a fact that as a 6-7 years old kid, I probably had absolutely no idea what a nuclear weapon is.
Few months ago, such dreams started haunting me again.
Are there any reliable facts in "Washington's Vision"? A man named Anthony Sherman did serve in the Continental Army. He applied for and received a pension in the 1830s. However, his pension application said he wasn't at Valley Forge in the winter of 1777-78; he was with Gen. Benedict Arnold's army instead. Furthermore, Anthony Sherman is not listed among Revolutionary veterans receiving a pension in 1840, meaning he had died by that year—well over a decade before he supposedly spoke to Wesley Bradshaw in Philadelphia.
Wesley Bradshaw didn't exist, either. That was a pseudonym used by Charles W. (for Wesley) Alexander, the publisher of "Washington's Vision". John Adcock at Yesterday's Papers says that Alexander, using his "Wesley Bradshaw" identity, had already contributed to a series of illustrated pamphlets that
purported to be true stories of murderers and female fiends, full of torture, murder and melerdrama, usually beginning on page 19, so a 64 page work was not all it was advertised to be.