Atoms for Peace

President Dwight D. Eisenhower was determined to solve "the fearful atomic dilemma" by finding some way by which "the miraculous inventiveness of man" would not be dedicated to his death, but consecrated to his life. In his Atoms for Peace speech before the United Nations General Assembly on December 8, 1953, President Eisenhower sought to solve this terrible problem by suggesting a means to transform the atom from a scourge into a benefit for mankind. Although not as well known as his warning about the "military industrial complex," voiced later in his farewell radio and television address to the American people, President Eisenhower's Atoms for Peace speech embodied his most important nuclear initiative as President. From it sprang a panoply of peaceful atomic programs. With it President Eisenhower placed the debate over the control of nuclear science and technology, which had largely been the province of government officials and contractors, squarely before the public. Indeed, the present public controversy over nuclear technology and its role in American society can be traced back to President Eisenhower's determination that control of nuclear science was an issue for all Americans.

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