The American History Podcast

A Program Of Virginia Foundation for the Humanities


In the Shadow of the Mushroom Cloud

In 1942, American scientists created the first sustained, controlled nuclear reaction, under the bleachers of a football field. Needless to say, it was the beginning of a new era. On this week’s show, Brian, Joanne and Ed talk atomic power, and the indelible mark it left on American culture.

Correction: The Nuclear Test Ban treaty wasn’t signed in 1958. Instead, the U.S. & USSR reached an unofficial moratorium on above-ground weapons testing. Both countries resumed above-ground testing in 1961, but ended it permanently when The Nuclear Test Ban treaty was signed in 1963.