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  Timeline of the Nuclear Age 1950s  1955

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The United Kingdom announces its intention to develop thermonuclear devices.

The USSR deploys Bear and Bison, two strategic bombers.

U.S. Secretary of State John Foster Dulles tells the press that the U.S. is seriously considering using atomic weapons over Quemoy-Matsu dispute with China.

President Eisenhower publicly states, "A-bombs can be used... as you would use a bullet." This causes an international uproar. NATO foreign ministers oppose a nuclear attack on China.

Albert Einstein dies.

The Soviet Union unexpectedly accepts UN proposal for nuclear disarmament.

Warsaw Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and Mutual Assistance establishes the Warsaw Pact, which provides for a unified military command for Eastern European nations, with its headquarters located in Moscow.

The first patent for a nuclear reactor, license number 2,708,656, is issued by the United States Patent Office to the Atomic Energy Commission. The patent discloses the method by which Enrico Fermi and Leo Szilard achieved their self-sustaining chain reaction on December 2, 1942.

President Eisenhower evacuates the White House in Operation Alert air raid drill.

The Russell-Einstein Manifesto is issued, which addresses the dangers of thermonuclear weapons. The Manifesto states, "In view of the fact that in any future world war nuclear weapons will certainly be employed, and that such weapons threaten the continued existence of mankind, we urge the Governments of the world to realize, and to acknowledge publicly, that their purpose cannot be furthered by a world war, and we urge them, consequently, to find peaceful means for the settlement of all matters of dispute between them."

The Big Four summit begins in Geneva. President Eisenhower unveils his proposal for "open skies" and an exchange of military secrets.

An International Conference on the Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy takes place in Geneva, Switzerland. Seventy-three countries send 1,428 delegates.

U.S. delegate Harold Stassen announces that America no longer supports UN plan calling for complete nuclear disarmament.

Sadako Sasaki, a twelve-year-old Japanese student and victim of the Hiroshima bombing, dies of leukemia. Influenced by a Japanese legend that says if one can fold 1000 cranes, one’s wish will come true, Sadako manages to fold 646 before she dies. Her fellow students complete the 1000 cranes to fulfill Sadako’s wish of achieving world peace. One of her poems states, "I will write peace on your wings, and you will fly all over the world."

The first Soviet thermonuclear bomb is dropped in Kazakhstan from an aircraft in test, with a force equivalent to 1.6 megatons of TNT.

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