In response to public outcry led by The American Legion, The Smithsonian Institute announces plans to cancel “The Last Act: The Atomic Bomb and the End of World War II,” a National Air and Space Museum exhibit featuring a portion of the B-29 bomber Enola Gay, which dropped the war-ending bombs on Japan, on Aug. 6 and Aug. 9, 1945.

Plans to present the exhibit in a way that highights the death and destruction of the U.S. bombing – without context about the years of death and destruction perpetrated by the Japanese during World War II – had led to a May 1994 American Legion resolution opposing exhibit plans as proposed. The American Legion worked with the Smithsonian for several months – including a line-by-line negotiation of the display text with American Legion National Commander William Detweiler and American Legion Internal Affairs Commission Chairman Herman Harrington – until the decision was made to cancel it. The National Air and Space Museum later plans and executes a different display of the full Enola Gay, without biased interpretation, for display at the NASM at Dulles Airport in Chantilly, Va. The historic aircraft has been shown there since 2003.