The Birth of the Manhattan Project
"Some recent work by E. Fermi and L. Szilard which has been communicated to me in manuscript, lead me to expect that the element uranium may be turned into a new and important source of energy in the immediate future... This new phenomenon would lead to the construction of bomb, and it is conceivable - though much less certain - that extremely powerful bombs of a new type may thus be constructed. A single bomb of this type, carried by boat and exploded in port, might very well destroy the whole port together with some of the surrounding territory."
In the end the president approved it, but only gave $6,000 to buy the uranium for the experiments Leo Szilard proposed.