- Some historians believe that Truman never ordered the dropping of the first two atom bombs on Japan in 1945 - which fortunately turned out to be only time a nuclear weapon was used in anger, as one of the historians commented in the documentary. Truman instead just let our military continue on the path it had begun under FDR - making the dropping of those first two atom bombs almost an effect of inertia rather the result of a deliberate Presidential command. (Truman did, however, order the development of the hydrogen bomb, a few years later, in a futile attempt to stay ahead of the Soviets in nuclear weaponry.)
- It was the hilly terrain of North Korea that was primary reason we didn't use nukes against them in the Korean war - more specifically, our experts thought the hills would blunt or weaken the impact of the nuclear weapons, and we didn't want to advertise to our Soviet adversaries that the weapons had limited capabilities.
- JFK called his predecessor Eisenhower for advice in the early days of the Cuban missile crisis. I think I knew that, but I hadn't heard the actual recording of their conversation before, in which Kennedy nervously laughs several times, in a tone that says everything about how worried he was.
- The bikini bathing suit was named after Bikini Atoll, where atomic tests took place shortly after World War II - I knew that, but I liked the quote of the French swimsuit designer that he hoped the name would call attention to the "explosive" effect that the skimpy bathing suit would have.
Perhaps the agreement reached just a few days ago with Iran will halt that country's development of nuclear weaponry - The Bomb of course was made well before that announcement - but what The Bomb nonetheless tells us is that nuclear capability cannot be unlearned, and, if the human race is to survive, we must continue to learn how not to use it.
See this documentary for a vivid depiction - with breathtaking footage - of how far we have come and how much further we need to go in this life-and-death self-restraint. The Bomb has never been more timely.