What exactly is history? The dictionary defines it as "A chronological record of events, as of the life or development of a people or institution, often including an explanation of or commentary on those events". If this is all that history is, why does it always seem to arouse so much controversy? Also, who decides on the point of view that goes into these historical documents that are written everyday? Unless you've witnessed the event first hand, you"re relying on someone else to get the story to you. These views can sometimes be partially biased or distorted. History is told through the mouths of many, but a person only knows the one hundred percent truth if they've witnessed the event themselves. This is where the problems occur, especially when people evaluate wartime history and events.
One of the most controversial issues involving wartime history and events would have to be the Smithsonian Institutions push to display the Enola Gay to mark the 50th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The exhibit stirred great controversy because many felt that it was biased and benefitted the Japanese. People believed that it would distort history by making the U.S. look like the aggressor, or the bad guy, during the war while Japan would be depicted as the victims who unknowingly had two bombs dropped upon them. As of now, history states that on December 7, 1941 the U.S. without warning was attacked by the Japanese in Pearl Harbor, Oahu, Hawaii. To retaliate, the U.S. dropped a bomb on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945 and then on Nagasaki on August 9, 1945 without warning as well. These views on history could have very easily been altered if they had gone on and displayed the exhibit the way it was supposed to be displayed, which they did not. As history will tell you, the Smithsonian revamped the whole exhibit and left nothing more but just the Enola Gay cockpit and brief videotape for all to see.