Chapter

Hiroshima and The U.S. Peace Movement: Commemoration of August 6, 1948–1960

Rieko Asai

in The United States and the Second World War

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print September 2010 | ISBN: 9780823231201
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823240791 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823231201.003.0012

Series: World War II: The Global, Human, and Ethical Dimension

Hiroshima and The U.S.             Peace Movement: Commemoration of August 6, 1948–1960

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This chapter explores the role that anti-nuclear activists have played in shaping the public memory of the war's cataclysmic end. It examines how, soon after the war's end, a diverse network of nuclear activists, led by atomic scientists, world federalists, and pacifists, challenged the then-dominant view supporting the atomic attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The major force that struck out against the orthodox view of the atomic bombings—the World Peace Day movement—began in 1948 owing to the work of Hiroshima survivor Kiyoshi Tanimoto and Austrian émigré Alfred Parker. The chapter demonstrates that Cold War tension and virulent anticommunism delivered setbacks to World Peace Day, from which the movement would never recover. However, even as the efforts of Parker and Tanimoto began to founder, Christian pacifists in the United States, anchored by the Fellowship for Reconciliation (FOR), injected new life into the movement to commemorate August 6. In turn, this revived movement galvanized antinuclear activists to push for successful limits on nuclear testing during the 1960s while simultaneously dehistoricizing the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Keywords: anti-nuclear activists; activism; World War II; atomic bomb; World Pace Day

Chapter.  13271 words. 

Subjects: History of the Americas

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