Ground Zero: A spot where Hell leaked out.

Ground Zero is now a neutralized term, used for the centerpoint of any event. However, originally the term applied specifically to the point of explosion of a nuclear weapon. The image below has been reproduced as published from a 1946 U. S. Government book:


The caption in the 1946 document is as follows:

BOMB VS METROPOLIS. This composite photograph roughly compares the height of the Baker Day cloud with the height of New York's greatest skyscraper. An exact comparison to scale would, if anything, be even more extreme than this; the great cloud rose to approximately 6000 ft., and the Empire State Building is only 1250 ft. in height. The greatest cauliflower cloud would overshadow a considerable portion of central Manhattan. It requires little study to appreciate that one atomic bomb is capable of producing catastrophic destruction.

-- Picture and caption are from: Operation Crossroads: The Official Pictorial Record, page 215, The Office of the Historian, Joint Task Force One, Wm. H. Wise & Co., Inc., NY, 1946.


Copyright (c) 2002 by Russell D. Hoffman. All Rights Reserved