Atomic Bomb Hat, 1946

From Wikipedia Commons. Click to enlarge

What is more amazing, the cake or the hat?  This photo marks a celebration of atomic bomb tests on Bikini Atoll in November, 1946.  In a series of blasts on the tiny Marshall island, the US government aimed to investigate the effects of the explosions on flora and fauna. It was obviously a different time in American history, when the words celebration and atomic bomb could be easily linked.  As I’m sure most of you know, the bathing suit was named after the bomb blast.

I could not find any information about the woman in the photo, the wife of Admiral William H. P. Blandy, pictured on the left.  In this photo, Blandy was in his mid-fifties.  I think his wife looks to be in her fifties also.

Apparently the photograph caused some controversy.  A letter to the editor by Navy officers to Time magazine reported that the admiral and his wife were not responsible for the cake; they merely were on hand to cut it. The hat might serve as evidence to the contrary, though.

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3 Responses to Atomic Bomb Hat, 1946

  1. Carol in Denver says:

    What a wild conglomeration of emotions your photo caused! First, laughter when I saw the hat. Then, despair when I read what was being celebrated.

    “Now, I am become death, destroyer of worlds.”

    And the people were smiling and celebrating what had been created.

  2. Appalled though we may be, we have to remember that we have much more information about the bombing of Japan than American civilians — even the wives of Admirals — had at the time. Unfortunately, with all the information we have now, we are still under the threat of nuclear war. Madness.

    • Carol in Denver says:

      This could be a reminder to stop and think through things before embarking on them. We can ask ourselves, “What is the long-term effect of this action/legislation/project/purchase?” I have heard that Native Americans considered the effect of their actions through the 7th generation to follow them. I doubt if many or most of us consider the results of our actions through the end of ten years.

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