This Week in Geographic History: Nuclear Weapons

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We’re slowing down for the summer! Instead of our usual roundup of “This Day in Geographic History” (TDIGH) events, here’s a closer look at one historic event that connects to something in the news today. We’ve also matched it with a map or visual, background information, and additional resources.

Tuesday, August 15

NGS Picture Id:633178

A mushroom cloud fills the sky after a U.S. government atomic bomb test in 1946 off the coast of Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands, Micronesia. Photograph by U.S. Govt. Navy, National Geographic.

TDIGH: V-J Day

Japan surrendered to the Allies in 1945, less than a week after the U.S. dropped a second atomic bomb on the island nation. The Japanese surrender, known as “Victory over Japan Day,” marked the official end of WWII.

Current Event: Nuclear Weapons

North Korea’s recent threat to use nuclear weapons has prompted a closer look at other nations’ nuclear arsenals.

Map:

“Nuclear weapons: Who has what?”

Background:

Interactive Timeline: WWII in the Pacific

Nuclear energy

U.S. drops atomic bomb on Nagasaki

2016 North Korea hydrogen-bomb test

“Fact Check: “Is The Nuclear Arsenal ‘Stronger Than Ever’?”

Discussion Questions:  

  1. If you were the President of the U.S., how would you respond to North Korea’s statements about attacking Guam with a nuclear weapon?
  2. Do you think one nation should be able to tell another nation what they can or cannot do? Why?

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