U. S. President Harry S. Truman publicly announced his decision to support the development of the hydrogen bomb, a weapon theorized to be hundreds of times more powerful than the atomic bombs dropped on Japan during World War II. He approved of the funding for the nuclear weapon because of several events prior to his public announcement. One of the reasons was the fact that the United States had lost its nuclear supremacy when the Soviet Union successfully detonated an atomic bomb at their test site in Kazakhstan in 1949.
Another reason why he decided to fund experiments for nuclear weapons is because the British and U. S. intelligence discovered that Klaus Fuchs, a top-ranking scientist in the U. S. nuclear program, was a spy for the Soviet Union. Because of these events, and the fact that the Soviets now knew almost everything that the Americans did to build a hydrogen bomb, Truman decided to approve a large amount of funding for the race to complete the making of the world’s first “super bomb. ” He publicly announced his decision on January 31, 1950.
Truman announced that the U. S. had directed the Atomic Energy Commission to proceed with the development of the hydrogen bomb. In his final State of the Union address on January 7, 1953, before Congress, he told the world that the United Stated had developed a hydrogen bomb. The announcement of this caused several reactions: fear, pride, and confusion. Many pondered the effect it would have on innocent civilians and the power of the U. S. Others deemed it as a weapon to guarantee a victory in the Cold War.