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War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Dawn; Trinity Test

Part of War and Peace in the Nuclear Age.

Footage from the Trinity Test at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

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War and Peace in the Nuclear Age
Program Number



Trinity Test

Series Description

The first atomic explosion in the New Mexico desert on July 16, 1945, changed the world forever. This series chronicles these changes and the history of a new era. It traces the development of nuclear weapons, the evolution of nuclear strategy, and the politics of a world with the power to destroy itself.

In thirteen one-hour programs that combine historic footage and recent interviews with key American, Soviet, and European participants, the nuclear age unfolds: the origin and evolution of nuclear weapons; the people of the past who have shaped the events of the present; the ideas and issues that political leaders, scientists, and the public at large must confront, and the prospects for the future. Nuclear Age highlights the profound changes in contemporary thinking imposed by the advent of nuclear weapons. Series release date: 1/1989

Program Description

Amid the violence, fear and desperation of World War II, nuclear weapons are created and used for the first time.

“Dawn” traces the development of the first atomic bomb, from 1932 with the ominous rumblings that led to World War II and the ground-breaking scientific experiments that led to the bomb. Atomic physicist Victor Weisskopf explains, “we did not think at all that this business would have any direct connection with politics, or with humanity.” The frantic rush by American scientists who feared the Nazis were ahead of them and the first nuclear explosion in the New Mexico desert on July 16, 1945 are described by eyewitnesses. Physicist Philip Morrison was ten miles away from the blast and will never forget the heat on his face. “Dawn” concludes with the failure of the first attempts to reach agreement on international control of atomic weapons after the war.



Asset Type

Stock footage

Media Type


Nuclear weapons
United States
Los Alamos National Laboratory, NM
Global Affairs
War and Conflict
Rights Summary

In perpetuity ; Public Domain

Chicago: “War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Dawn; Trinity Test,” WGBH Media Library & Archives, accessed October 22, 2016, http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_E9B2ABCB1C044A528BD70D4EF0AC4FED.
MLA: “War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Dawn; Trinity Test.” WGBH Media Library & Archives. Web. October 22, 2016. <http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_E9B2ABCB1C044A528BD70D4EF0AC4FED>.
APA: War and Peace in the Nuclear Age; Dawn; Trinity Test. Boston, MA: WGBH Media Library & Archives. Retrieved from http://openvault.wgbh.org/catalog/V_E9B2ABCB1C044A528BD70D4EF0AC4FED
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