DIRECTORNews Hour with Jim Lehrer
TITLESmithsonian Enola Gay Exhibit
RUNNING TIME14 minutes

This segment from a February 1995 PBS TV news show tells the story of the Smithsonian Institution’s Enola Gay exhibit controversy by showing the opinions and evidence given by each side. The Smithsonian contended that it was trying to augment the exhibit with some analysis of the question of why America bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The problems arose when the first draft of the exhibit text was released. In order to keep the analysis simple and immediately relevant to the exhibit, the Smithsonian looked only at the atomic bombings, rather than the entire war. American World War II veterans were upset about perceived demonization of America and presentation of Japan as a victim. Despite attempts to construct new drafts for the exhibit, the Smithsonian was not able to quiet all parties, so it decided to display the Enola Gay minimizing emphasis on the use of the first atomic bombs.

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