Inside the U.S. Government’s Secret, 30-Year Radiation Experiment on its People

For 30 years, the U.S. government deliberately exposed thousands of its people to life-threatening radiation. Modern scholarship reveals how far the project went.

Atomic Centre

Engineers drilling and weighing a plutonium casting in one of the glove boxes at the Atomic Energy Research Establishment. Photo: Reg Birkett/Keystone/Getty Images

A poorly attended ceremony took place at the White House on October 3, 1995. Hosted by President Bill Clinton, the event marked the official receipt of the final report from a presidential advisory committee he had ordered into existence the year before.

The committee was to investigate the U.S. government’s secret program to expose human test subjects to radiation without their knowledge or informed consent.

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The Dark Side of George Washington

George Washington was the father of our country and first in the hearts of his countrymen, but that doesn’t mean he was a saint.

George Washington Portrait

Image: Wikimedia Commons

By any standards, George Washington was a great man and a great president, especially by the kind of diminished standards we have today. Born into what passed for the middle class in plantation Virginia in 1732, Washington was always an ambitious try-hard who made money, glory, and history as naturally as he breathed.

Like most really successful people, however, George Washington had almost supernatural good luck and a knack for shifting blame for his mistakes onto other people. On the 227th anniversary of his first presidential inauguration, it’s worth taking a moment to reflect on this, and how that sneaky streak aided in his rise to the top.

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The 15 Best Summer Olympics Photos from the Past and Present

The Summer Olympics will soon come to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In just under 100 days, the city will carry the torch of the modern Summer Olympics, which date back to Athens, Greece in 1896. Then, about 240 athletes (all male) from 14 nations competed in 43 events — ranging from swimming to cycling, wrestling to fencing, and gymnastics to track and field.

This summer, when Brazil will become the first South American country to host the Summer Olympics, there will be 136 women’s events, 161 men’s events, and nine mixed medal events.

In anticipation of that and in celebration of how far the games have come, take a look at some of the most dramatic, awe-inspiring, and inspirational photos of Summer Olympics past:

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Summer Olympics Photos History

The 2016 Summer Olympics will be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Brazilian judo champion Erika Miranda stands in the official Olympic uniform, carrying the Olympic torch. The Olympic Torch symbolizes the link between the Ancient and Modern Olympic Games. Photo: Christophe Simon/Getty Images

First Olympiad

Opening ceremonies of the first modern Olympic Games in Athens, Greece 1896. Photo: Getty Images

Babe Didrikson

One of the greatest athletes of all time, Mildred ‘Babe’ Didrikson wins the gold medal for javelin during the 1932 Olympic Games. She would also go on to win gold in the 80-meter hurdles as well as a silver medal in the high jump. Photo: Getty Images

Nazi Germany

On August 1, 1936, the Olympic torch is carried into the Olympic stadium in Berlin, Germany to start the XI Olympic Games. At these games, Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party hoped to show the athletic dominance of the Aryan race. Photo: Getty Images

Jesse Owens

Instead, American Jesse Owens stuck it to Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany — winning four gold medals and dealing a grave blow to the “master race” ideology. Photo: Getty Images

Smith Carlos

Athletes would go on to use the games as a platform to raise other issues of race. Above, at the 1968 games in Mexico City, gold medalist Tommie Smith and bronze medalist John Carlos took to the podium without their shoes, and during the national anthem bowed their heads and raised a gloved fist to the sky in a salute of black power. Photo: Angelo Cozzi/Wikimedia Commons

Munich 11

At the 1972 games in Munich, Germany, Palestinian guerrilla members raided the Olympic Village where 10,000 athletes were staying. The guerrillas, supported by German Neo-Nazis, would assassinate 11 Israeli hostages in the greatest tragedy in Olympic history. Photo: Getty Images

Perfect 10

Mary Lou Retton became America’s Sweetheart after winning five medals — including gold in the all-around competition — in the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. Retton was the first American to win the all-around gold medal in gymnastics. Photo: Steve Powell/Getty Images

Carl Lewis

From 1984 to 1992, Carl Lewis set 13 world records and won ten Olympic medals; nine of them gold. Photo: Eric Feferberg/Getty Images

Joyner Kersee

Jackie Joyner-Kersey throws a javelin at the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. Joyner-Kersee won gold in the heptathlon, setting the world record in the process with a score of 7,291 points. Photo: Tony Duffy/Getty Images

Greg Louganis

Highly favored to win gold at the 1988 games in Seoul, Greg Louganis hit his head during a preliminary dive — leading to a concussion as well as the need for sutures. Louganis would complete the dive successfully around half an hour later, and would continue on to win the gold.

Louganis would later face controversy when it was reported he had been diagnosed with HIV six months before the Seoul Olympics; something he had not disclosed to fellow competitors. In reality, he posed very litte risk of transferring his disease, as chlorine kills HIV. Photo: Pascal Rondeau/Getty Images

Rulon Gardner

Rulon Gardner gained Olympic fame in 2000 when he defeated Russian star Aleksandr Karelin for the gold medal in Greco-Roman Wrestling. At the time, Karelin had not lost an international match in 13 years.

At the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece, Gardner removed his shoes and left them in the middle of the mat, signaling his retirement after winning the bronze medal. Photo: Adam Pretty/Getty Images

Oscar Pistorius

Double amputee Oscar Pistorius, also known as “blade runner," made history at the 2012 London Olympics when he became the first amputee runner to compete in the Olympic Games. Pistorius has now found an entirely different notoriety as the convicted murderer of his girlfriend, South African model Reeva Steenkamp. Photo: Justin Setterfield/Getty Images

Usain Bolt

Considered the greatest sprinter in history, Usain Bolt is the defending Olympic Champion in the 100 meters, 200 meters, and 4x100 meter relay — all of which he also holds the world record in. Bolt is the first man in the history of the modern Olympic games to be a six-time gold medalist in sprinting events. Photo: Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

Michael Phelps

The most decorated athlete in Olympic history, Michael Phelps has won 18 gold, two silver, and two bronze medals. His record of 22 Olympic medals is one he hopes to build on in his final Olympic Games in Rio, 2016. Photo: Adam Pretty/Getty Images

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Next, be sure to check out these haunting photos of abandoned Olympics sites.

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