The always-interesting Letters of Note blog has uncovered a chilling hidden page from history: A letter dropped into Japan one minute before the second atomic bomb, warning a Japanese scientist to plead his leaders to save their cities.
The letter, written by American physicist Luis Alvarez and two unsigned collaborators, was hidden inside a canister alongside a shockwave gauge also designed by Alvarez, and addressed to Ryokichi Sagane, a Japanese nuclear physicist Alvarez had once worked beside. It's at once humane and threatening:
We implore you to confirm these facts to your leaders, and to do your utmost to stop the destruction and waste of life which can only result in the total annihilation of all your cities, if continued. As scientists, we deplore the use to which a beautiful discovery has been put, but we can assure you that unless Japan surrenders at once, this rain of atomic bombs will increase manyfold in fury.
Read the whole thing here.