Guide to the Frank Rabbitt Collection on "Enola Gay"
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For the 50th anniversary of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Air and Space Museum (NASM) created an exhibit about the historic first use of atomic weaponry in war. Part of the exhibit was the display of the "Enola Gay", the plane flown by then-Colonel Paul Tibbets during the Hiroshima mission. The exhibit drew criticism for its perceived censure of the bombings, a perceived disrespect for the "Enola Gay" itself, and alleged involvement of the Japanese government in selecting content for display. One vocal opponent was Frank K. Rabbitt, whose two-year letter-writing campaign against the exhibit enlisted the aid of Tibbets, a number of U.S. elected officials, several journalists, and many members of the public. During the controversy, Dr. Martin Harwit resigned his position as NASM director, and the exhibit was altered to display only the "Enola Gay", a video of the pilots, and a small amount of explanatory text.
This is a guide to materials in The Frank Rabbitt Collection on "Enola Gay" housed in the History of Aviation Collection, Special Collections Department, The University of Texas at Dallas.