July 1, 1946 – The U.S. conducted its first “peaceful” nuclear weapons test at Bikini Atoll – one of 315 nuclear test explosions by the U.S., U.K., and France during the half century, 1946-96 (the last atmospheric test was a French nuclear explosion on January 27, 1996), in the Pacific Region according to a 2014 report by the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN).  Over this period of time, tens of thousands of Pacific Islanders were forcibly removed from their ancestral islands by the nuclear powers.  The resulting short- and long-term radioactive fallout from these tests have negatively impacted generations of these peoples.  (Source:  Jack Mendelsohn and David Grahame, editors.  “Arms Control Chronology.” Washington, DC:  Center for Defense Information, 2002.)

July 2, 1945 – On this date, U.S. Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson’s memorandum to President Harry S. Truman concluded that, “…we have enormous factors in our favor and any step which can be taken to translate those advantages into a prompt and successful conclusion of the war should be taken.”  Stimson reiterated to President Truman his earlier belief that the Japanese would react positively to a warning or ultimatum for conditional surrender which also offered appropriate assurances that the Japanese emperor Hirohito (considered by almost the entirety of the Japanese people as the godhead of their Shinto religion – the 124th in direct line of descent from the sun goddess Amaterasu – in other words, a divine being or Son of Heaven) would not be charged with war crimes, deposed, or subjected to imprisonment or execution.   Also critical was the Emperor’s almost unprecedented secular intervention in the form of cables (intercepted and translated by the Allies) that were sent from the Japanese Foreign Minister Togo to Ambassador Sato in Moscow on July 13-14 which stated, “His Majesty, the Emperor…desires from his heart that it [the war] may be quickly terminated.”   These and related facts could have created momentum for the U.S. and its allies (with the possible exception of the Soviet Union which was bound by agreements signed with the U.S. and Britain to enter the war with Japan [which it did on August 8, 1945] spurred on in part by its desire to reacquire territory it lost in the 1905 Russo-Japanese War) to end the war with Japan before the August 6 and 9 atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.   Instead, the excuse of dropping the bombs to prevent huge hypothetical casualties (both American and Japanese) in an upcoming invasion of Japan, an argument made largely irrelevant by the Soviet declaration of war against Imperial Japan, which convinced the Japanese that continued fighting was even more pointless, held sway both then and today.   The President, Secretary of State James Byrnes, Manhattan Project director General Leslie R. Groves, a majority of the Congress (incensed with the possibility that two billion dollars were spent for a superweapon that would not be used), and other hardliners felt it was essential to demonstrate the destructiveness of the Bomb and press America’s atomic diplomatic strength in its future postwar dealings with the Soviet Union.   (Source:  Gar Alperovitz.  “The Decision to Use the Atomic Bomb and the Architecture of An American Myth.”  New York:  Alfred A. Knopf, 1995, pp. 35, 232-35, 667-68.)

July 8, 1996 – The International Court of Justice, also known as The World Court, in The Hague, issued an advisory opinion that concluded that, “…the threat or use of nuclear weapons is generally illegal and states are obliged to bring to a conclusion negotiations on nuclear disarmament in all its aspects.”  In effect, the advisory opinion held that the entire nuclear deterrence system represented a war crime.  (Source:  International Court of Justice, The Hague, www.icj-cij.org accessed on June 9, 2014.)

July 9, 1955 – The Bertrand Russell – Albert Einstein Manifesto was signed by the principal authors and nine other prominent world scientists including a total of nine Nobel Laureates.  It warned of “universal death by nuclear world war if war is not renounced.”  (Source:  Oliver Stone and Peter Kuznick. “The Untold History of the United States.”  New York:  Gallery Books, 2012.)

July 16-22, 1994 – 21 fragments of the shattered comet Shoemaker-Levy 9, the largest of which was approximately 2.5 miles in diameter, impacted the planet Jupiter with an approach speed of sixty kilometers a second (130,000 miles-per-hour).  The explosions that followed were estimated to total in the range of six to twenty million megatons of TNT, hundreds of times more powerful than all of the world’s nuclear weapons.  Temperatures rose as high as the surface of the sun (10,000+ degrees centigrade) and fireballs 5,000 miles across spewed out through chimneys the comet fragments drilled into the gas giant planet’s atmosphere.   Comment:  In retrospect, humanity should realize that the tremendous chaos and violence of the Cosmos, including not only comet/asteroid impacts, but immense stellar explosions, entire galaxies wracked by deadly gamma ray bursts, and huge black holes and quasars, all pervade this gigantically large universe.  Cannot humans with their intellect, wisdom, and morality recognize that our planet was always meant to be an oasis from this violence.  That one purpose of our species’ evolution is to preserve, protect, and expand this zone of stability and peace.  For, in our ego and superego, should we choose nuclear violence, our intellect knows that our puny efforts pale before the violence of nature.  Therefore, we choose peace!  (Sources:  James R. Asker.  “Jupiter Comet is a Smash Hit.”  Aviation Week & Space Technology.  July 24, 1994, pp. 20-22, and James Reston, Jr. “Collision Course:  Jupiter is About to be Walloped by a Comet.”  Time, May 23, 1994, pp. 54-61.)

July 20, 1969 – U.S. Apollo astronauts became the first humans to land on another heavenly body placing a plaque on the lunar surface that read, “We Came in Peace for All Mankind.”  Approximately a decade before this event, the U.S. Strategic Command’s General Thomas Power envisioned a Deep Space Force consisting of 20 manned spaceships armed with nuclear weapons to remain in orbit near the Moon for a period of several years.  The spaceships would be propelled by the detonation of small atomic bombs.  This proposal spawned a research and development program known as Project Orion (1958-65).  Although nuclear space weaponry was circumvented by U.S. negotiation, signature, and entry into force of the October 10, 1967 Outer Space Treaty, there are still active U.S. and other nations’ military plans to weaponize outer space.  Also, nuclear weapons are considered by some as a last ditch option to divert asteroids or comets that may one day threaten to collide with our planet. (Source:  Eric Schlosser.  “Command and Control:  Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Incident, and the Illusion of Safety.”  New York:  Penguin Press, 2013, p. 529.)

July 29-30, 2009 – U.S. Strategic Command (STRATCOM) held its First Annual Strategic Deterrence Symposium, “Waging Deterrence in the 21st Century” at the Qwest Center Convention Hall in Omaha, Nebraska.  Open source literature on these and subsequent U.S. military conferences have revealed that participants at such colloquia rarely consider the health, environmental, and global humanitarian impacts if deterrence, in fact, fails.  Deterrence, bolstered by nearly seventy years of “success” is usually considered so robust and flexible that failure is not considered a credible scenario.  However, human infallibility, when combined with the horrendously destructive nuclear force, is a prescription for unprecedented and possibly species-ending global disaster. (Source:  U.S. STRATCOM, www.stratcom.mil/events/ accessed June 9, 2014.)