10 Days That Unexpectedly Changed America

Season 1 Episode 3

Einstein's Letter

Aired Unknown Apr 10, 2006 on The History Channel
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Episode Summary

Einstein's Letter
On July 16, 1939, at the insistence of Leó Szilárd and Eugene Wigner, legendary physicist Albert Einstein signed a letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, personally warning the President of Nazi Germany's scientific research of the atomic bomb. His letter to President Roosevelt would convince Roosevelt of the importance and the danger of this type of weapon in the hands of Adolf Hitler, and Roosevelt immediately created the Advisory Committee on Uranium. After some time had passed, Einstein was forced to send another letter to Roosevelt because the government was not fully funding the committee because Leó Szilárd and Eugene Wigner were both born outside of the U.S. and were considered possible security risks. Roosevelt immediately ordered the government to give them the needed funds, and this brought about the Manhattan Project. After realizing the bomb would likely be used, Einstein regretted signing the letters to Einstein. Although a pacifist, Einstein never wanted the Nazis to be the ones who had this powerful and dangerous weapon.moreless

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