Hiroshima – Ground Zero of 1945 A-Bomb
On August 6th 1945, Hiroshima was decimated by a single atomic bomb dropped by the Enola Gay, Superfortress bomber. That single bomb unleashed a nuclear chain reaction of radioactive fury that completely destroyed the city within twelve kilometers. 70,000 people died instantly and approximately 130,000 later from cancer & leukemia due to the radiation emitted by the a-bomb.
Although the U.S. had previously dropped leaflets warning civilians of air raids on 12 other Japanese cities, the residents of Hiroshima were given no notice of the atomic bomb. However, as Harry Truman put it, “You must always remember that people forget… the bombing of Pearl Harbor was done while we were at peace with Japan and trying our best to negotiate a treaty with them.” A week and a half before the bombing, President Truman issued a final ultimatum to Japan, “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.”
64 years later, the Japanese government officially recognized Tsutomu Yamaguchi (1916–2010) as a double a-bomb survivor. Tsutomu Yamaguchi was confirmed to be 3 kilometers from ground zero in Hiroshima on a business trip when the bomb was detonated. He was seriously burnt on his left side and spent the night in Hiroshima. He got back to his home city of Nagasaki on August 8, a day before the a-bomb in Nagasaki was dropped, and he was exposed to residual radiation while searching for his relatives. He is the first officially recognized survivor of both bombings. Tsutomu Yamaguchi died Monday January 4, 2010 after a battle with stomach cancer; he was 93.