Nearly 65 years ago, Harry S. Truman authorized the use of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Nearly 65 years ago, Harry S. Truman authorized the use of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Though an ocean and thousands of miles separate Missouri and Japan, historical experts in both regions will link together in several days to discuss the past, present and future implications of Truman’s decision. “Mr. Truman Meets Hiroshima on the Future of Nuclear Weapons, 1945-2020,” a live video conference and webcast, will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Monday from the Harry S. Truman Library & Museum in Independence and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum in Japan. Webster University and the Holden Public Policy Forum are the event’s presenters, and former Missouri Gov. Bob Holden will serve as moderator.

Michael Devine, director of the Harry S. Truman Library & Museum, said the library’s mission is to provide a forum for the free discussion of national and international issues. Recently installed high-tech equipment in the facility’s auditorium and public spaces will allow the library to work with an educational institution on an international level, Devine said. 

“It gives us a chance to really enter into a fascinating experiment in doing international programming with a foreign country,” Devine said, “and we’re very excited about the possibilities.”

The live webcast and open channels for audience participation will be available on Facebook and Twitter and can be accessed at by clicking on the “view webcast” button. 

“Without a doubt, Harry Truman was faced in 1945 with making maybe the most difficult decision any world leader had to make in the 20th century. It’s a decision that is still reviewed, examined and even debated to this day,” Devine said. “Truman felt that once the Second World War ended his role as president was to do everything he could to see that atomic weapons were never used again and that a third World War would be avoided. This conference will look at the last 65 years and projecting into the future, looking at the issue of nuclear disarmament and the implications of that.”