In 1939 Leo Szilard's experiments confirmed the possibility of an atomic chain reaction.org, chronology of nuclear weapons) What Szilard was unaware of is the tremendous power that was unleashed when this reaction occurred. Nuclear weapons are not a new thing; they have been around for more then six decades. In 1941 the British began atomic bomb research under the code name "tube alloys." (www.arcatacityhall.org, chronology of nuclear weapons) Shortly after the United States began their research known as, "Manhattan project." (www.arcatacityhall.org, chronology of nuclear weapons) This is the beginning of a new era, one in which weapons of mass destruction are produced. Nuclear weapons have the potential to be dangerous, but also have been vital in the security of many nations. Today the United States government spends an estimated 35.1 billion dollars a year on nuclear weapons. (www.arcatacityhall.org, chronology of nuclear weapons) Not only for the protection of themselves but for the protection of those underneath their nuclear umbrella.
Since the ending of WWII and the collapse of the Soviet Union there was a period of time that was at center stage. The whole world was watching to see what was going to happen with the build up of the tension between the United States and The Soviet Union. This time period was referred to as the cold war. The cold war was a munitions race between the Americans and the Soviets. Both countries wanted to have the most nuclear weapons in the world and spent most of their money focusing on this common goal. The tension between these two countries was unbearable and at one point the threat of nuclear fallout was almost a reality. .
On October 16, 1962 the president of the United States, John F. Kennedy called together group advisors to discuss the Soviet nuclear missile installations on the island of Cuba. Kennedy and his advisors discussed courses of action that could be taken to ensure that there was no strike upon America.