Saturday, August 6, 2011

Another anniversary of Hiroshima. Will it be remembered?

Miami News, Aug. 7, 1945

By Jane Feehan

Today is the 66th anniversary of a cataclysmic event, the dropping of an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Will it be mentioned in the news? With so much ignorance of our history these days, I’m compelled to make note of it here. It’s not Florida history, but it affected all in this nation - and is still cause for debate. Caution: no weapon (anywhere) has ever been developed that has NOT been used.

A sentence from The Miami News story above, August 7, 1945:

Iron censorship was clamped on details of the atom bombing of Hiroshoma by the U.S. strategic air forces today, but from the stunned enemy finally came admission that the terrific new weapon had done great damage.

The U.S did not reveal any statistics that day but President Truman released a statement, included, in part here:

We are now prepared to obliterate more rapidly and completely every productive enterprise the Japanese have above ground in any city. We shall destroy their docks, their factories, and their communications. Let there be no mistake; we shall completely destroy Japan’s power to make war. If they do not now accept our terms they may expect a rain of ruin from the air, the like of which has never been seen on this earth.

The toll of destruction eventually reported:

60 percent of Hiroshima had been leveled.
80,000 people were killed instantly.
Another 50,000 to 60,000 died in the months following.
Of the total killed, 10,000 were Japanese troops.

Still no Japanese surrender. On August 9, another bomb – a plutonium bomb – was dropped on Nagasaki, killing 70,000.  The Japanese surrendered August 14, 1945.

Miami News, Aug. 7, 1945, p.1.
McCullough, David. Truman. New York: Simon & Shuster, 1992, p. 455.

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