The Enola Gay ControversyHistory on trial Main Page

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10/28/1994. Correll critiques the Oct 26 fifth draft and is still unsatisfied: "Basic -- and unfortunate -- assessment: Minor and marginal improvements, but continuation of the structural and ideological bias we have identified before."
MEMO TO: Monroe Hatch [https://web.archive.org/web/20101227051546/http://afa.org/media/enolagay/04-12.html]
11/1/1994. Air Force Magazine publishes its third major article: "what the curators had in mind was more political than aeronautical. . . . the museum was in fact preparing to exhibit the Enola Gay in a politically rigged horror show."
"The Three Doctors and the Enola Gay," by John T. Correll, Air Force Magazine, 11/94, 8-12 [https://web.archive.org/web/20101227052423/http://afa.org/media/enolagay/07-05.html]
"Revisionism at Its Worst," Air Force Magazine, 11/94, 5-6. Letters supporting the AFA position, including one by Enola Gay crew member, George Caron: "I believe the use of the atom bombs convinced Japan to give up. The resultant nuclear age is an entirely different subject." [SFX]
11/1/1994. Organization of American Historians' Newsletter calls for a code of principles and publishes its resolution: "American museums need to adopt a Declaration of Independence if they are ever to enjoy a Bill of Rights."
"S.O.S.: Storm Warning for American Museums," by Alfred F. Young, OAH Newsletter 22.4 (Nov 1994): 1, 6-8. [SFX]
"A Chronology of the Smithsonian's 'Last Act,'" John R. Dichtl, OAH Newsletter, 22.4 (Nov 1994): 9-10. Contains the OAH resolution. [SFX]
11/16/1994. 48 "historians and scholars" send a letter to Heyman charging that by giving in to pressure groups the Smithsonian has "become associated with a transparent attempt at historical cleansing."
Historians' Nov 16 letter to Heyman: "we yield to no one in our desire to honor the American soldiers," but "certain irrevocable facts cannot be omitted without so corrupting the exhibit that it is reduced to mere propaganda." [PDF]
Historians' Nov 17 letter to Harwit: contains a list of minimum issues the exhibit should include. [PDF]
Letter by Noam Chomsky, one of the signatories: "as a strong opponent of totalitarian tendencies I naturally oppose the efforts of interested pressure groups to alter the decisions of the Smithsonian." [PDF]
See Fellowship of Reconciliation document that follows for excerpts from a press conference by the historians. For a succinct summary of the debate among historians about dropping the bomb: "Pro and Con on Dropping the Bomb" [http://www.seattletimes.com/trinity/supplement/procon.html]
11/1994. The Fellowship of Reconciliation puts out a resource packet that includes a list of key issues, a summary of the script changes, the historians' letter to Harwit, and excerpts from the historians at a press conference: "The US, as the only country to use the bomb, has a special responsibility to recognize the significance of that act, to take the lead in ensuring that it never happens again, and to realize that the future of civilization is threatened by our continual possession and development of nuclear weapons."
"Remembering Hiroshima: The Smithsonian Controversy," by Jo Becker, Fellowship of Reconciliation [PDF]
11/1994. Sampling of coverage in November by major media.
"This famous airplane was involved in an unpleasant situation," editorial cartoon by Danziger, Christian Science Monitor, November 1994. [SFX]
"The Nuking of NASM," by Col. Charles D. Cooper, Retired Officer Magazine, November 1994, 4. "There is no reason why the Enola Gay, which played this key history-making role, and the veterans who offered their lives to bring an end to the war in the Pacific should be subjected to their own days of infamy through such callous curatorship." [SFX]
"Smithsonian Plot Thwarted," The AIM Report, November 1994. "The Enola Gay affair is a striking instance of the 'political correctness' now permeating America's premiere public museum -- the same skewed mindset that depicted Western exploration as capitalistic exploitation and genocide of Indians . . . ." [SFX]
"Revisionism, Revised," by Eugene L. Meyer, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, Nov 1994, 4. "Whether the means used to accomplish that mission were moral or immoral is a question that all of us may wrestle with, preferably without a prepackaged answer." [SFX]
"The Truth about the Enola Gay," by Chuck Saults, Journal Herald, 11/02/94, 9A. "We were empire building . . . and we dropped bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki to make that point clear to the Soviets and anybody else who might have gotten in our way. And it worked." [SFX]
"A Long March to Revile America's Past," by Pat Buchanan, Washington Times, 11/07/94. "For any nation to subsidize such assaults upon its history is to toy with suicide." [SFX]
"Self-Flagellation. This must be one of the Puritans," editorial cartoon by Cullum, Washington Times, 11/7/94. [SFX]
"Storm over the Smithsonian," Kermit Lansner, FW, 11/08/94, 96. "Looking back, I remember a great sense of relief that the war would probably be over . . . and at the same time a sense of horror at the terrible destructiveness of the bomb. Like most of my friends, I found it quite natural to entertain both these conflicting ideas at the same time." [SFX]
"Enola Gay Means Different Things to U.S. and Japan," Asahi Shimbun, 11/12/94. "Fifty years after the war's end, however, isn't it important to ask anew what the bombings meant and rationally consider the issue from many angles for the benefit of the future of mankind?" [SFX]
"Smithsonian Under Siege," Wall Street Journal, 11/15/1994, A23. Letters: "I will not take my children to the 'new' Smithsonian to inspire them to become cream puffs so consumed in apologizing for imagined misdeeds that they become worthless noncontributors to America's future." [SFX]
"Recommended Smithsonian Reading," by R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., Washington Times, 11/18/94, A23. "Quite beyond all the Hondas they have rained down upon us . . . the Japanese have been among the centuries most aggressive imperialists." [SFX]
"A-Bomb Exhibit Takes Another Hit," by Eugene L. Meyer, Washington Post, 11/18/94, F1. "Academics blast revised script for beleaguered Smithsonian show." [SFX]
"The controversy over the Smithsonian's 'End of World War Two' exhibit is really heating up," editorial cartoon by Tinsley, Washington Times, 11/28/94. [SFX]
"Enola Gay Moves as Debate Goes On," New York Times, 11/28/94, A12. Transporting the plane to the museum. [SFX]
"What New Consensus?" by Robert P. Newman, Washington Post, 11/30/94, A27 See Alperovitz, 10/16/94. "Alas, the Smithsonian will gain no guidance from the 'New Consensus' supposedly described in Alperovitz's article. It is neither new nor a consensus." [SFX]