Nuclear Weapons in History

Nuclear Weapons: Nuclear Testing

Related Topics: Nuclear Physicists

Historical Events


InventionHistoric Invention

1934-07-04 Hungarian physicist Leo Szilard patents the chain-reaction design for the atomic bomb

Physicist and Inventor Leó Szilárd
Physicist and Inventor
Leó Szilárd

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1939-10-11 Albert Einstein informs FDR of the possibilities of an atomic bomb

Theoretical Physicist Albert Einstein
Theoretical Physicist
Albert Einstein
32nd US President Franklin D. Roosevelt
32nd US President
Franklin D. Roosevelt

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1941-07-15 Britain's MAUDE Report edited by James Chadwick approved, concludes an atomic bomb is feasible

Physicist James Chadwick
Physicist
James Chadwick

Conference meetingMeeting of Interest

1941-09-17 Famous meeting between Danish physicist Niels Bohr and German head of nuclear energy project Werner Heisenberg in Copenhagen to discuss nuclear weapons (date approximate)

Nobel Prize Winning Physicist Niels Bohr
Nobel Prize Winning Physicist
Niels Bohr

USAManhattan Project

1941-10-09 US President Franklin D. Roosevelt approves an atomic program that would become the Manhattan Project

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'Calutron Girls' monitoring a mass spectrometer during the Manhattan Project. Gladys Owens, in the foreground, did not know what she was involved with until seeing this picture on a tour fifty years later.
'Calutron Girls' monitoring a mass spectrometer during the Manhattan Project. Gladys Owens, in the foreground, did not know what she was involved with until seeing this picture on a tour fifty years later.
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  • 1942-02-26 Werner Heisenberg, a principal scientist in the German nuclear weapons program, delivers a lecture to Nazi officials about extracting energy from nuclear fission

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1942-08-13 The 'Manhattan Project' commences, under the direction of US General Leslie Groves: its aim - to deliver an atomic bomb

US Army Engineer and WWII General Leslie Groves
US Army Engineer and WWII General
Leslie Groves
  • 1945-01-15 The Manhattan Project's G-5 Group, headed by Physicist's Donald Kerst and Seth Neddermeyer, take their first betatron pictures of a nuclear implosion at the Los Alamos Laboratory
  • 1945-07-04 Field Marshal Henry Maitland Wilson gives Britain's agreement to use the atomic bomb against Japan at the Combined Policy Committee in Washington D. C.
  • 1945-07-16 1st test detonation of an atomic bomb, Trinity Site, Alamogordo, New Mexico as part of the US Manhattan Project

JapanAtomic Bombing of Hiroshima

1945-08-06 Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima by the US B-29 Superfortress "Enola Gay"

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Mushroom cloud over Hiroshima
Mushroom cloud over Hiroshima
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JapanNuclear Bombing of Nagasaki

1945-08-09 US drops second atomic bomb "Fat Man" on Nagasaki, Japan, destroying part of the city

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Mushroom cloud over Nagasaki
Mushroom cloud over Nagasaki
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Event of interestEvent of Interest

1945-10-08 US President Harry Truman announced atomic bomb secret shared with Britain and Canada

33rd US President Harry Truman
33rd US President
Harry Truman
  • 1946-05-28 US Patent filed for a hydrogen bomb
  • 1946-07-25 US detonates an underwater atomic bomb at Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands (5th atomic explosion)
  • 1948-10-21 UN rejects Russian proposal to destroy atomic weapons

  • 1950-02-12 Albert Einstein warns against hydrogen bomb

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1951-03-09 Edward Teller and Stanislaw Ulam submit a classified paper at the Los Alamos lab, in which they proposed their revolutionary new design, staged implosion, for a practical megaton-range hydrogen bomb

Physicist Edward Teller
Physicist
Edward Teller

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1951-10-06 Joseph Stalin proclaims the Soviet Union has the atomic bomb

Soviet General Secretary Joseph Stalin
Soviet General Secretary
Joseph Stalin

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1952-02-26 PM Winston Churchill announces Britain has its own atomic bomb

Soldier, Author and British Prime Minister Winston Churchill
Soldier, Author and British Prime Minister
Winston Churchill
  • 1952-11-01 "Ivy Mike", the first thermonuclear weapon to utilize the H-bomb design of Edward Teller and Stanislaw Ulam, is detonated in the Marshall Islands, Pacific Ocean
  • 1953-01-07 US President Harry Truman announces American development of the hydrogen bomb

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1953-08-08 Soviet leader Georgi Malenkov reports possession of hydrogen bomb

Soviet Leader Georgy Malenkov
Soviet Leader
Georgy Malenkov
  • 1953-08-12 Soviet Union conducts secret test of its 1st hydrogen bomb
  • 1953-08-20 Russia publicly acknowledges hydrogen bomb test detonation
  • 1953-08-29 USSR explodes its first hydrogen bomb
  • 1953-11-06 Masao Oki's symphony "Atomic Bomb" premieres

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1954-02-02 President Eisenhower announces the detonation of the world's 1st hydrogen bomb (tested in 1952)

34th US President & WWII General Dwight D. Eisenhower
34th US President & WWII General
Dwight D. Eisenhower

USACastle Bravo Nuclear Test

1954-03-01 US explodes Castle Bravo, a 15 megaton hydrogen bomb at Bikini Atoll, which accidentally became the most powerful nuclear device ever detonated by the US

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The explosion from Castle Bravo over Bikini Atoll in 1954
The explosion from Castle Bravo over Bikini Atoll in 1954
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Conference meetingConference of Interest

1955-07-13 Industrialist Cyrus Eaton first offers to host a conference on dangers of nuclear weapons in Pugwash, Nova Scotia

Steel Magnate Cyrus Eaton
Steel Magnate
Cyrus Eaton
  • 1955-07-15 18 Nobel laureates sign the Mainau Declaration against nuclear weapons, later co-signed by 34 more laureates
  • 1956-05-21 US explodes 1st airborne hydrogen bomb over Bikini Atoll

UKUK Tests a Hydrogen Bomb

1957-05-15 Operation Grapple: Britain tests its first hydrogen bomb near Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean

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The first British hydrogen bomb test, Operation Grapple
The first British hydrogen bomb test, Operation Grapple
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  • 1958-03-25 West German parliament desires German atomic weapons
  • 1958-03-31 USSR suspends nuclear weapons tests, & urges US & Britain to do same

  • 1958-04-04 1st march against nuclear weapons (Aldermaston, England)
  • 1959-06-23 Convicted Manhattan Project spy Klaus Fuchs is released after only nine years in prison and allowed to emigrate to Dresden, East Germany (where he resumed a scientific careerhistory of ultrasounds
  • 1960-02-13 France becomes the 4th nuclear nation by exploding the 70 kilo-ton "Gerboise Bleue" atomic bomb in the French Algerian Sahara desert [1]
  • 1960-11-22 French National Meeting decide to build own nuclear weapons
  • 1960-11-30 French Senate condemns building own nuclear weapons
  • 1961-10-30 Soviet Union tests a 58 megaton hydrogen bomb named Tsar Bomba, the most powerful nuclear weapon ever detonated
  • 1963-10-09 French air force gets first nuclear weapons
  • 1966-03-17 US submarine locates missing hydrogen bomb on the Mediterranean sea floor
  • 1966-04-07 US recovers a lost hydrogen bomb from the Mediterranean sea floor (whoops)
  • 1966-12-08 US and USSR sign treaty to prohibit nuclear weapons in outer space
  • 1967-01-27 Treaty signed banning military use of nuclear weapons in space
  • 1967-05-19 USSR ratifies treaty with Britain & US banning nuclear weapons in space
  • 1967-06-17 China becomes world's 4th thermonuclear power by exploding a hydrogen bomb
  • 1971-02-11 US, UK, USSR, others sign Seabed Treaty outlawing nuclear weapons
  • 1972-08-03 US Senate ratifies the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with the Soviet Union to limit the use of missile systems capable of defending against missile-delivered nuclear weapons
  • 1974-05-18 India becomes the sixth nation to explode an atomic bomb

AgreementTreaty of Interest

1974-11-24 Gerald Ford and Leonid Brezhnev sign the SALT-2 treaty to reduce each side's number of nuclear weapons

Soviet General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev
Soviet General Secretary
Leonid Brezhnev
38th US President Gerald Ford
38th US President
Gerald Ford
  • 1979-06-18 US President Carter and Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev sign SALT II treaty limiting nuclear weapons
  • 1979-08-30 1st recorded occurrence of a comet hitting the sun, releases energy equal to one million hydrogen bombs
  • 1981-11-30 Cold War: In Geneva, representatives from the United States and the Soviet Union begin to negotiate intermediate-range nuclear weapon reductions in Europe (the meetings ended inconclusively on December 17)

  • 1982-12-08 Norman Mayer holds Washington Monument hostage, demanding an end to nuclear weapons. Is killed by police after 10 hrs (he had no explosives)
  • 1983-03-08 House Foreign Affairs Com endorses nuclear weapons freeze with USSR

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1983-05-03 Soviet leader Yuri Andropov decreases nuclear weapons in Europe

Soviet General Secretary Yuri Andropov
Soviet General Secretary
Yuri Andropov
  • 1983-05-03 US bishops condemn nuclear weapons
  • 1983-11-18 Argentina announces its ability to produce enriched uranium for nuclear weapons
  • 1985-02-04 Naval exercises canceled when US refuses to tell NZ if nuclear weapons aboard USS Buchanan
  • 1987-06-08 New Zealand's Labour government legislates against nuclear weapons and nuclear powered vessels in NZ. Only nation to legislate against nuclear power.
  • 1991-07-31 Russia and US sign long range nuclear weapons reduction pact
  • 1991-10-05 USSR reduces nuclear weapons arsenal
  • 1995-08-06 Thousands gather in Hiroshima for the 50th anniversary of the atomic bombing of the city
  • 1995-10-13 Nobel Peace Prize awarded jointly to Polish physicist Joseph Rotblat and the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, for their work to reduce and eliminate nuclear weapons

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1999-02-21 Lahore Declaration signed between India's Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Pakistan's Navaz Sharif on use of nuclear weapons

10th Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee
10th Indian Prime Minister
Atal Bihari Vajpayee
  • 2007-08-29 A United States Air Force nuclear weapons incident takes place at Minot Air Force Base and Barksdale Air Force Base.
  • 2017-07-07 United Nations nuclear weapon ban treaty adopted in New York, without participation of nuclear countries
  • 2017-09-03 North Korea conducts its sixth and largest ever nuclear test, saying it had successfully conducted a test of a hydrogen bomb
  • 2017-10-06 Nobel Peace Prize awarded to the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN)

Conference meetingSummit of Interest

2018-04-27 Historic Korean summit, the North's Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in of South Korea agree to officially end Korean war and rid peninsula of nuclear weapons

Supreme Leader and Dictator of North Korea Kim Jong-un
Supreme Leader and Dictator of North Korea
Kim Jong-un
President of South Korea Moon Jae-in
President of South Korea
Moon Jae-in

Appears on tv showTV Show Appearance

2018-11-09 Korean pop band BTS appearance on Japanese TV show cancelled after member Jimin wore shirt with atomic bomb image

K-Pop Star Jimin
K-Pop Star
Jimin
  • 2018-12-18 Meteor explodes in huge fireball over the Bering Sea with 10 times the energy of Hiroshima atomic bomb, 2nd largest in last 30 yrs
  • 2019-08-08 Nuclear accident at Russian nuclear-weapon testing site at closed city Sarov kills five scientists in mysterious circumstances

Famous Birthdays

  • 1892-06-22 N. Howell Furman, American Chemist whose work on separating uranium contributed to the development of the atomic bomb

Person of interestLeslie Groves

1896-08-17 Leslie Groves, American army engineer who directed the Manhattan Project and construction of the Pentagon, born in Albany, New York (d. 1970)

US Army Engineer and WWII General Leslie Groves
US Army Engineer and WWII General
Leslie Groves

Person of interestLeó Szilárd

1898-02-11 Leo Szilard, Hungarian-German-American nuclear physicist (Manhattan Project) and peace activist, born in Budapest, Hungary, Austro-Hungarian Empire (d. 1964)

Physicist and Inventor Leó Szilárd
Physicist and Inventor
Leó Szilárd
  • 1900-11-18 George Kistiakowsky, Ukrainian-American chemist who helped develop the first atomic bomb (Manhattan Project), but later opposed nuclear weapons, born in Kiev, Ukraine (d. 1982)
  • 1902-03-02 Edward Uhler Condon, atomic scientist (Manhattan Project)
  • 1902-10-22 Frank Spedding, Canadian Chemist whose uranium extraction process helped make possible the first atomic bomb, born in Hamilton, Ontario
  • 1903-05-22 Yves Rocard, French physicist (helped develop the atomic bomb for France), born in Vannes, France (d. 1992)
  • 1903-11-11 Thomas Allibone, English physicist (Manhattan Project, high-voltage particle acceleration), born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England (d. 2003)

Person of interestRobert Oppenheimer

1904-04-22 Robert Oppenheimer, American theoretical physicist known as the father of the atomic bomb (Manhattan Project), born in NYC, New York (d. 1967)

Physicist and Father of the Atomic Bomb Robert Oppenheimer
Physicist and Father of the Atomic Bomb
Robert Oppenheimer
  • 1907-06-05 Rudolf Peierls, German-British physicist (atomic bomb), born in Berlin, Germany (d. 1995)

Person of interestEdward Teller

1908-01-15 Edward Teller, Hungarian-American physicist, father of the Hydrogen bomb (Manhattan Project), born in Budapest, Hungary (d. 2003)

Physicist Edward Teller
Physicist
Edward Teller

Person of interestRaemer Schreiber

1910-11-11 Raemer Schreiber, American physicist (Manhattan Project) who helped develop the first atomic bomb during World War II and prepared the Fat Man bomb that was used in the bombing of Nagasaki, born in McMinnville, Oregon (d. 1998)

Physicist Raemer Schreiber
Physicist
Raemer Schreiber
  • 1910-12-01 Louis Slotin, Canadian Physicist and Chemist (Manhattan Project, Los Alamos) who assembled the plutonium core for 'Trinity', the first detonated atomic device, born in Winnipeg, Manitoba
  • 1911-07-09 John Archibald Wheeler, American physicist (first American involved in the theoretical development of the atomic bomb), born in Jacksonville, Florida (d. 2008)
  • 1919-06-18 Jerome Karle, American chemist (Nobel 1985) and Manhattan Project member, born in New York (d. 2013)
  • 1943-01-07 Sadako Sasaki, Japanese child victim of the Hiroshima atomic bomb, born in Hiroshima, Japan (d. 1955)
  • 1947-01-21 Jill Eikenberry, (Ann Kelsey-LA Law, Manhattan Project), born in New Haven, Connecticut
  • 1968-03-13 Christopher Collett, American actor (Manhattan Project), born in NYC, New York

Famous Deaths


Person of interestLeó Szilárd

1964-05-30 Leo Szilard, Hungarian-German-American nuclear physicist (Manhattan Project) and peace activist, dies at 66

Physicist and Inventor Leó Szilárd
Physicist and Inventor
Leó Szilárd
  • 1965-08-02 N. Howell Furman, American Chemist whose work on separating uranium contributed to the development of the atomic bomb, dies at 73

Person of interestRobert Oppenheimer

1967-02-18 Robert Oppenheimer, American theoretical physicist known as the father of the atomic bomb (Manhattan Project), dies of throat cancer at 62

Physicist and Father of the Atomic Bomb Robert Oppenheimer
Physicist and Father of the Atomic Bomb
Robert Oppenheimer

Person of interestLeslie Groves

1970-07-13 Leslie Groves, American army engineer who directed the Manhattan Project and construction of the Pentagon, dies of a heart attack at 73

US Army Engineer and WWII General Leslie Groves
US Army Engineer and WWII General
Leslie Groves
  • 1982-12-07 George Kistiakowsky, Ukrainian-American chemist who helped develop the first atomic bomb (Manhattan Project) but later opposed nuclear weapons, dies at 82
  • 1984-12-15 Frank Spedding, Canadian Chemist whose uranium extraction process helped make possible the first atomic bomb, dies at 82
  • 1992-03-16 Yves Rocard, French physicist (helped develop the atomic bomb for France), dies at 88
  • 1995-09-19 Rudolf Peierls, German-British physicist (atomic bomb), dies at 88

Person of interestRaemer Schreiber

1998-12-24 Raemer Schreiber, American Physicist (Manhattan Project) who helped develop the first atomic bomb during World War II and prepared the Fat Man bomb that was used in the bombing of Nagasaki, dies at 88

Physicist Raemer Schreiber
Physicist
Raemer Schreiber

Person of interestEdward Teller

2003-09-09 Edward Teller, Hungarian-American physicist, father of the Hydrogen bomb (Manhattan Project), dies at 95

Physicist Edward Teller
Physicist
Edward Teller
  • 2003-09-09 Thomas Allibone, English physicist (Manhattan Project, high-voltage particle acceleration), dies at 99
  • 2007-08-15 John Gofman, American Manhattan Project scientist and advocate (b. 1918)
  • 2008-04-13 John Archibald Wheeler, American physicist (first American involved in the theoretical development of the atomic bomb), dies at 96
  • 2009-10-31 Qian Xuesen, Chinese scientist who worked on the Manhattan Project and who pioneered engineering cybernetics, dies at 97
  • 2010-01-04 Tsutomu Yamaguchi, Japanese Businessman, and Survivor of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Atomic Bombings (b. 1916)