You’d think the Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas, since it is an affiliate of the Smithsonian, would present a balanced view of the atomic testing in Nevada during the 1950’s, especially since the tests were deliberately done on days when the wind would blow the radiation onto that “low-use segment of the population” in Utah and other states. But you’d be wrong. Instead the museum is little more than blatant propaganda for the wonderfulness of atomic bombs. You did know that all that stood between us and the commies invading Los Angeles was the atomic testing program, right? Or so someone said during a short video. Radiation poisoning from the testing – which was simultaneously highly touted as being mostly harmless and carefully planned to fall on Downwinders in Utah causing painful deaths by rare and exotic cancers – was of course deeply regrettable. Such sacrifices (made by someone else) are sadly necessary so that Science Can March On.
Our government was lying to us then about the testing and it still is. The Atomic Testing Museum is deeply disturbing, deliberate propaganda made all the worse by never once mentioning the Downwinders by name.
On the way out, there was a display of apparently quite valuable and treasured Piute and Ute arrowheads that somehow fell into the hands of someone who worked at the test site. He donated them to the museum. The display says that Native Americans would no doubt find this to be distasteful if not insulting but since the artifacts were found on US government land, the museum gets keeps them (pending ongoing negotiations.)
I quote Daffy Duck in response…