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Round Two - The Resistance Movement: April 16 to October 26, 1994

Do you want to do an exhibit to make veterans feel good, or do you want an exhibition that will lead our visitors to think about the consequences of the atomic bombing of Japan? Frankly, I don't think we can do both. -- Tom Crouch, NASM curator.

Between April 16 and October 26, 1994, the controversy over the exhibit around the Enola Gay kicks into high gear. This round begins with Martin Harwit of the National Air and Space Museum appointing a team to consider the criticism of the first draft of the exhibit leveled by the Air Force Association, and it climaxes with the production of the fifth and last draft, under a new name, half a year later: "Crossroads" becomes "The Last Act."

During this period we see the American Legion beginning parallel action with the Air Force Association in organized resistance and also Enola Gay pilot/war hero Paul Tibbets and other individual veterans voicing deeply personal resistance. We see Congress beginning a "hands on" policy, and we see some historians arguing for a "hands off" policy. Very crucial, we also see Michael Heyman, the man who ultimately inherits responsibility for the life or death of the exhibit, arrive in the middle of the controversy as the new Secretary of the Smithsonian, replacing Robert McCormick Adams. By October 26, 1994, virtually all of the "stakeholders" in the exhibit except other museum officials have entered the action.