Skip to main content
Year
1952
Month Day
November 01

United States tests first hydrogen bomb

The United States detonates the world’s first thermonuclear weapon, the hydrogen bomb, on Eniwetok atoll in the Pacific. The test gave the United States a short-lived advantage in the nuclear arms race with the Soviet Union

Following the successful Soviet detonation of an atomic device in September 1949, the United States accelerated its program to develop the next stage in atomic weaponry, a thermonuclear bomb. Popularly known as the hydrogen bomb, this new weapon was approximately 1,000 times more powerful than conventional nuclear devices. Opponents of development of the hydrogen bomb included J. Robert Oppenheimer, one of the fathers of the atomic bomb. He and others argued that little would be accomplished except the speeding up of the arms race, since it was assumed that the Soviets would quickly follow suit.The opponents were correct in their assumptions. The Soviet Union exploded a thermonuclear device the following year and by the late 1970s, seven nations had constructed hydrogen bombs. The nuclear arms race had taken a fearful step forward.

WATCH: U.S. Develops Hydrogen Bomb

FACT CHECK: We strive for accuracy and fairness. But if you see something that doesn't look right, click here to contact us! HISTORY reviews and updates its content regularly to ensure it is complete and accurate.

ALSO ON THIS DAY

First NBA game played

On November 1, 1946, the New York Knickerbockers beat the Toronto Huskies in the first NBA game, 68-66. The Knickerbockers are led by guard Leo Gottlieb, who scored 14 points in the game played before 7,090 fans at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto.  Although they lost to the ...read more

Montreal's Jacques Plante becomes first NHL goaltender to wear facemask

On November 1, 1959, the day after Halloween, Jacques Plante of the Montreal Canadiens revolutionizes hockey by donning a facemask, the first NHL goaltender to do so in a regular-season game. Plante wears the custom-made fiberglas mask after suffering a badly cut nose and lip on ...read more

European Union goes into effect

The Maastricht Treaty comes into effect, formally establishing the European Union (EU). The treaty was drafted in 1991 by delegates from the European Community meeting at Maastricht in the Netherlands and signed in 1992. The agreement called for a strengthened European ...read more

Sistine Chapel ceiling opens to public

The ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, one of Italian artist Michelangelo’s finest works, is exhibited to the public for the first time on November 1, 1512. Michelangelo Buonarroti, the greatest of the Italian Renaissance artists, was born in the small village of Caprese in ...read more

John Adams moves into White House

On November 1, 1800, President John Adams, in the last year of his only term as president, moved into the newly constructed President’s House, the original name for what is known today as the White House. Adams had been living in temporary digs at Tunnicliffe’s City Hotel near ...read more

Legendary western lawman is murdered

On November 1, 1924, William Tilghman is murdered by a corrupt Prohibition agent who resented Tilghman’s refusal to ignore local bootlegging operations. Tilghman, one of the famous marshals who enacted law and order in the West, was 71 years old. Known to both friends and enemies ...read more

Earthquake takes heavy toll on Lisbon

A devastating earthquake hits Lisbon, Portugal, killing as many as 50,000 people, on November 1, 1755. The city was virtually rebuilt from scratch following the widespread destruction. Lisbon was Portugal’s capital and largest city during the prosperous 18th century, when ...read more

An assassination attempt threatens President Harry S. Truman

On November 1, 1950, Griselio Torresola and Oscar Collazo attempt to assassinate President Harry S. Truman at the Blair House in Washington, D.C. Truman escaped unscathed. In the autumn of 1950, the White House was being renovated and President Truman and his family were living ...read more

McClellan replaces Scott

On November 1, 1861, President Abraham Lincoln names George Brinton McClellan general in chief of the Union army, replacing the aged and infirm Winfield Scott. In just six months, McClellan had gone from commander of the Ohio volunteers to the head of the Union army. McClellan, ...read more

Parliament enacts the Stamp Act

In the face of widespread opposition in the American colonies, Parliament enacts the Stamp Act, a taxation measure designed to raise revenue for British military operations in America. Defense of the American colonies in the French and Indian War (1754-63) and Pontiac’s Rebellion ...read more