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Today in history: July 18
In 1945, President Harry Truman learned a momentous secret
Harry Truman, 33rd president of the U.S., was responsible for the dropping of two atom bombs on Japan.
Harry Truman, 33rd president of the U.S., was responsible for the dropping of two atom bombs on Japan. Keystone/Getty Images

July 18, 1945: President Harry Truman was informed of the successful test two days earlier of the first atomic bomb. He would soon order two of them to be dropped on Japan, bringing World War II to a close.

July 18, 1947: President Harry Truman signed the Presidential Succession Act, which said the Speaker of the House was second in line to assume the presidency, after the vice president. The original order of Ppresidential succession, signed by President Washington in 1792, said the President pro tem of the Senate followed the VP. The original 1792 law was also revised in 1886, removing both the House speaker and President pro tem of the Senate from the presidential succession list.

Quote of the Day

"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence." -John Adams

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