President Eisenhower's Atoms for Peace proposal was developed and delivered to the United Nations in an atmosphere of grave danger and even greater hopes. Following in the immediate aftermath of the U.S. policy of nuclear secrecy and denial, the evident failure of which was denoted by the entry of the United Kingdom and the Soviet Union into the "nuclear club," Eisenhower's proposal electrified the world. As former Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) Chairman and Secretary of Energy James Sehlesinger puts it: "Today one can scarcely recall the drama of the occasion, the momentous impact of his comments, the enthusiasm with which they were greeted, the wide-spread belief that we were witnessing a Marshall Plan for atomic energy." Echoing this view, Richard Hewlett, who was the chief historian of the AEC and its successors, the Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA) and the Department of Energy (DOE), states: "The worldwide outpouring of positive reaction to the speech demonstrated that the president had struck a highly resonant note at precisely the right moment."