The World Must Choose International Control: Atomic Public Education in 1940s New York City


Central to addressing the problem of international control of atomic energy in the early Cold War was the work of United Nations Atomic Energy Commission (UNAEC) representatives to inform the general public about the atom. This talk will examine policymaker efforts to educate the American public about atomic energy during the 1948 New York Golden Jubilee in an exhibit which presented attendees with stark choice, boldly asserting that “The World Must Choose: Devastation or International Control and Peace.” As part of a larger story on international negotiations regarding atomic energy control and the emerging Cold War, the 1948 Golden Jubilee illustrates how the conflict was perceived in the hearts and minds of the American public and inextricably linked to the problems and promise of atomic energy.