In 1939, under the encouragement of Leó Szilárd, Albert Einstein sent a letter to President Roosevelt urging the study of nuclear fission for military purposes, under fears that the Nazi government would be first to develop nuclear weapons. Roosevelt started a small investigation into the matter which eventually became the massive Manhattan Project.
J. Robert Oppenheimer, the scientific director of the Manhattan project had only one thought upon witnessing the world’s first atomic bomb explode. Both were quotes from the Bhagavad Gita, the holy book of Hinduism.
“If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst at once into the sky, that would be like the splendor of the mighty one. Now, I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds”
Before his death, Einstein was quoted as saying “I made a great mistake when I signed the letter to President Roosevelt recommending that atomic bombs be made.“