Photographer Joe O’Donnell, 85, Dies--Was involved in Enola Gay controversyBreaking News
As a presidential photographer, Mr. O’Donnell caught images of Harry S. Truman and Gen. Douglas MacArthur shaking hands at their meeting on Wake Island during the Korean War; Vice President Richard M. Nixon in his “kitchen debate” with the Soviet leader, Nikita S. Khrushchev; and President John F. Kennedy deciding whether to go ahead with the Bay of Pigs invasion.
And the O’Donnell photograph of John F. Kennedy Jr. saluting his father’s coffin became the most reproduced version of that memorable scene....
Mr. O’Donnell’s work was caught up in controversy in 1995, before the National Air and Space Museum exhibited the Enola Gay, the B-29 that had bombed Hiroshima. His images were supposed to demonstrate the bombs’ horrific effects, but veterans objected that the photos and the words others had written to accompany them gave an unbalanced view that neglected both Japan’s aggression and the bombs’ role in ending the war and saving American lives....
One of Mr. O’Donnell’s pleasures as White House photographer was the moments of intimacy that he got to share with presidents.
In the National Public Radio interview 12 years ago, he told of having summoned his courage to ask Truman, while walking on a Wake Island beach in 1950, if he had ever had second thoughts before the atomic-bombing of Japan.
“Hell, yes!” he recalled Truman responding. “And I’ve had a lot of misgivings afterwards.”
Mr. O’Donnell was too shy to ask for clarification.
“I don’t know what he meant,” he said.
comments powered by Disqus
- Trump Angled for Soviet Posting In the 1980s
- Places That Are Actually Worth Visiting
- JFK’s last birthday: Gifts, champagne and wandering hands on the presidential yacht
- Bozeman schools prefer kids in class on MLK Day
- Universities across the country are facing up to their past association with slavery
- Historian David Kaiser says the most exciting day of his life was JFK’s election
- Michael Bliss, Historian Who Dispelled Myths of Insulin’s Discovery, Dies at 76
- Jill Lepore: Americans Aren't Just Divided Politically, They're Divided Over History Too
- AHA joins protest of Trump’s plan for drastic cuts to the NEH
- Diane Ravitch says the Democrats paved the way for the education secretary's efforts to privatize our public schools