17NOV 2018
Location of the Manhattan Project

Location of the Manhattan Project

Hanford, Washington, on the beautiful Columbia River, was the site selected for the full-scale plutonium production plant, the B Reactor. Today a popular tourist desination, the Hanford Site proved crucial to the success of the Manhattan Project. Site Selection In December 1942, the Army Corps of Engineers worked with DuPont to establish criteria for the selection of a site for…

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13NOV 2018
American Civil War Facts and information

American Civil War Facts and information

Characters, Causes, and Context The Civil War profoundly shaped the United States as we know it today. Nevertheless, the war remains one of the most misunderstood events in American history. Here are ten basic facts you need to know about America s defining struggle. Fact #1: The Civil War was fought between the Northern and the Southern states from 1861-1865. The Civil War, also…

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09NOV 2018
Vietnam War Rolling Thunder

Vietnam War Rolling Thunder

The call by South Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Khánh on July 19, 1964 to expand the Vietnam conflict led to an operation of gradual and sustained U.S. aerial bombardment of North Vietnam known as Operation Rolling Thunder. The mission was meant to boost the morale of the Saigon regime; force North Vietnam to cease support for the Communist insurgency in South Vietnam; destroy…

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05NOV 2018
Cambodia and Laos Vietnam War

Cambodia and Laos Vietnam War

The Vietnam War did not confine itself to one nation; its impact on neighbouring Laos and Cambodia was also profound. Two of Vietnam’s western neighbours were also affected by and ultimately drawn into the conflict, with devastating consequences. Like Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia were both divided by competing Cold War loyalties; each had indigenous communist movements and pro-Western…

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01NOV 2018
End of Vietnam War Facts

End of Vietnam War Facts

By Arnold R. Isaacs Best Defense guest historian Closing thoughts for this trip down Vietnam memory lane: — A key fallacy in the we-won mythology is that it pictures the war as an American event, whose outcome was decided entirely by American actions and decisions. It gives no weight to the character, strategies, strengths and shortcomings of either our enemy or our ally. It ignores…

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28OCT 2018
Weapons Used in the American Civil War

Weapons Used in the American Civil War

The new rifles also used a new type of ammunition. Instead of the old round ball used in smooth-bore muskets, the new rifled muskets used a minie ball. This projectile has the same pointed shape as today’s modern bullets and was much more accurate and inflicted much more damage than round ball ammunition. Examples of Civil War Rifles Of all of the Civil War weapons the rifled musket…

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24OCT 2018
Manhattan Project Death

Manhattan Project Death

Some time ago I happened upon a list of all of the fatal accidents that occurred at Los Alamos between its inception in 1943 through September 1946. There were exactly twenty-four, an even two-dozen ways to die while working at an isolated nuclear weapons laboratory. I reprint them here, not only because there is a morbid fascination with this sort of thing, but because I’ve found…

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20OCT 2018
Manhattan Project lead scientists

Manhattan Project lead scientists

In 1934, German scientists discovered nuclear fission, the splitting of an atom of uranium into two elements. If fission became a chain reaction, the energy of the nucleus of the uranium atom might be released. A very large number of atoms split very quickly might result in a massive explosion. Five years later, Albert Einstein wrote a letter to President Roosevelt describing the…

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16OCT 2018
Lewis and Clark Expedition information

Lewis and Clark Expedition information

Meriwether Lewis and William Clark were born simultaneously in neighboring counties in Virginia on August 1, 1773. Oddly enough, it was precisely 30 years and 30 days after their birth that they began what would become their legacy, the expedition that today bears their name. But all of that was to come later in the varied and fascinating parallel lives that each of them led. Though…

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