August 6, 1945 was the day the atomic bomb was first dropped on Hiroshima, Japan and the nuclear age began. The second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki on August 9. Debates over the wisdom of the US action will probably continue forever, but the fact that the world has survived for 75 years would no doubt shock many. Some of the anniversary coverage:
Science Magazine: “August 6th marks the day, 75 years ago, that the United States dropped a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima, Japan. Up to 120,000 people died from the bombing and in the aftermath. Some of the survivors, known as “hibakusha,” would eventually enroll in the Radiation Effects Research Foundation’s Life Span Study, which continues to examine the effects of atomic radiation on the human body. The study’s findings have been the basis for radiation safety standards around the world, ranging from power plants to hospitals. Decades of archival footage and images, survivor drawings, and the testimony of research participant Kunihiko Iida convey the kind of misery that results from an atomic bombing—as well as the message of peace and humanity that can result from scientific research.” Read more: https://scim.ag/2EAJbty
President Harry Truman announces the Bombing of Hiroshima
Book Follows Reporter Who Uncovered Hiroshima Cover-Up
The journalist John Hersey, as Blume pointed out, played a heroic role in telling the full story of the bomb’s impact on the people of Hiroshima. His reporting for The New Yorker from Hiroshima in 1946 can be read here, or in book form here.
Washington Post: The U.S. hid Hiroshima’s human suffering. Then John Hersey went to Japan.
NYT: The Reporter Who Told the World About the Bomb
WSJ: From Hiroshima’s Devastation, a Wrenching Account of the Human Toll. John Hersey shook Americans by telling the story of history’s first atomic bombing from the survivors’ point of view.
Town and Country: The Secret History of Journalism’s Biggest Scoop. An excerpt from the new book Fallout reveals how John Hersey planned his now-legendary trip to Hiroshima.
BBC: How John Hersey revealed the horror of the bomb.
Slate: Sleepwalking Into the Atomic Age. The decision to bomb Hiroshima wasn’t a decision at all.
Crash Course History of Science: Creation of the Bomb