Saturday, July 25, 2009

On July 25

On this day in ...
1946, the United States detonated an atomic bomb at Bikini Atoll in Micronesia in the first underwater test of the device. The impetus for the test, which was known as "the Baker explosion" (left), was President Harry S. Truman's December 1945 directive stating that joint testing of nuclear weapons would be necessary "to determine the effect of atomic bombs on American warships." Bikini was chosen because of its isolated location. (photo credit) In February 1946, the Bikinians agreed to leave the atoll temporarily so that the United States could begin testing atomic bombs for "the good of mankind and to end all world wars." The U.N. strategic agreement that gave trusteeship of the area to the United States also allowed further bombing in the area, and so precipitated the Bikinians’ dire health situation. Today, the people of Bikini remain scattered throughout the Marshall Islands and the world as they wait for the radiological cleanup of Bikini to begin in earnest.
1905, Winona Grace MacInnis (right), Canadian politician and feminist, was born. She was the 1st woman from British Columbia elected to the Canadian House of Commons. She served as a Member of Parliament from 1965 until her retirement in 1974. During her tenure, MacInnis championed issues such as family planning, affordable housing, abortion rights and women's equality. In 1974, she was made an Officer of the Order of Canada in recognition of her service. In 1990, she was awarded the Order of British Columbia. She died in 1991. (photo credit)

(Prior July 25 posts are here and here.)

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