Glory-Seekers and the Bomb

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This newspaper column concerns the Smithsonian Institution's 1995 decision to change the content orginally planned for the National Air and Space Museum's exhibition on the Enola Gay, the airplane that dropped the first atomic bomb. Mr. McCarthy writes of his irritation with the Smithsonian and Secretary I. Michael Heyman for caving in to demands from some veterans organizations who had lobbied members of Congress to side with them in their belief that the exhibition should emphasize the valor of American soldiers and omit dispassionate analysis of the damage and deaths caused by the bomb. The columnist does see one side benefit brought about by the wrangle: peace groups had been stirred into action and planned to educate citizens of both the U. S. and Japan on the horrors of war.


  • Ripley, Sidney Dillon 1913-2001
  • Heyman, Ira Michael 5/30/1930-11/19/2011
  • United States Congress
  • National Air and Space Museum
  • Enola Gay (Bomber)


Smithsonian Institution History Bibliography

Contained within

The Washington Post (Newspaper)

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


February 7, 1995


  • Airplanes
  • Politics and culture
  • WW II
  • Atomic bomb
  • Veterans
  • Controversies
  • Secretaries
  • Lobbying
  • Exhibitions
  • Federal Government, Relations with SI
  • World War, 1939-1945

Physical description

Section D, Page 13

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