July 19, 1957: Five Men Agree to Stand Beneath Nuclear Explosion

July 19

Robert Krulwich:

On July 19, 1957, five Air Force officers and one photographer stood together on a patch of ground about 65 miles northwest of Las Vegas. They’d marked the spot “Ground Zero. Population 5” on a hand-lettered sign hammered into the soft ground right next to them.

As we watch, directly overhead, two F-89 jets roar into view, and one of them shoots off a nuclear missile carrying an atomic warhead.

On this day in 1957, five men volunteered to stand beneath a nuclear detonation. Simply astonishing.

(Via Dan Benjamin)