THE ATOM: Peaceable Explosions

Amid the excitement about the U2, Presidential Press Secretary James Hagerty read to newsmen an announcement that, against the background of rumblings in Moscow, sounded deliberately provocative. President Eisenhower, said the announcement, had approved a massive boost, from $10 million to $66 million, in funds for Project Vela, a program of research on detection of underground nuclear tests—and Vela would include, "where necessary, nuclear explosions." Largely because of the awkward timing, the word buzzed far and wide that the President, in reaction to the shooting down of the U-2 and Nikita Khrushchev's...

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