Conquer It

As President Truman vowed in the speech you just read, WWII was not over until the surrender of Japan. To bring an end to the war, President Truman made the decision to drop an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan.

Read an excerpt from President Truman's press release announcing the dropping of the bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. Then, summarize the main idea of the announcement and cite evidence that supports the main idea.

August 6, 1945
Washington, D.C.


Sixteen hours ago an American airplane dropped one bomb on Hiroshima and destroyed its usefulness to the enemy. That bomb had more power than 20,000 tons of TNT. 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. In their present form these bombs are now in production and even more powerful forms are in development.

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…

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…

— President Harry Truman, August 6, 1945

Read the full press release on the Harry S. Truman Library & Museum Opens a new window website.