100 Interesting Facts About Hiroshima and Nagasaki

1Martin Luther King Day

Martin Luther King Day

Hiroshima is one of the only places outside of the United States to observe Martin Luther King Day because he wrote a letter to Japan weeks before his death, requesting to visit the country and spread his message of peace.

2. In 1976, Japan donated 53 bonsai trees to the US for its bicentennial, including a white pine that had been tended daily since 1625 and survived the Hiroshima atomic blast. Its history was unknown until 2001 when two brothers showed up at the museum to check on their grandfather’s tree.

3. There was a 3-day Go championship game ongoing in Hiroshima when the city was nuked. The building was damaged and several spectators were injured, but play resumed normally after the lunch break and concluded later that day.

4. There are people in the world that think nuclear bombs are impossible and that every explosion has been faked for propaganda including Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

5. A truck driver named John Coster-Muller nicknamed as Atomic John without a college degree has researched and published the most accurate account of the Hiroshima atomic bomb's design

6Little Boy

Little Boy

The design for "Little Boy", the first atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima, was never field tested before being used because the scientists were so confident in the design and there was only enough U-235 for one bomb.

7. Six Ginkgo trees survived the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima without deformities. All six are still alive today.

8. Allied carpet bombing of Tokyo killed more civilians than the atomic bombing of both Nagasaki and Hiroshima combined.

9. Approximately two dozen Americans were killed by the atomic bomb in Hiroshima, a fact that the US did not acknowledge until the 1970s.

10. Jimmy Carter is the only American president to have visited Hiroshima's ground zero

11Tsutomu Yamaguchi

Tsutomu Yamaguchi

A man named Tsutomu Yamaguchi was on a business trip in Hiroshima when the atomic bomb dropped. He was wounded but returned to his hometown of Nagasaki, where the very next day the second atomic bomb was dropped. He survived both blasts and lived to 93.

12. Bernard Waldman (American physicist) flew on the atomic bombing of Hiroshima to record the explosion, but he forgot to open the camera shutter and therefore recorded nothing.

13. A month after the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima, a massive typhoon (Makurazaki Typhoon) hit the city, killing 2,000 people.

14. The Flame of Peace in Hiroshima, Japan has burned since 1964 in honor of the bomb victims and will be extinguished only when all nuclear weapons are removed from the world and the Earth is free from nuclear threat.

15. After the bombing of Hiroshima, there were “ant-walking alligators” that the survivors saw everywhere, men and women who “were now eyeless and faceless with their heads transformed into blackened alligator hides displaying red holes, indicating mouths.”

161961 Goldsboro B-52 crash

1961 Goldsboro B-52 crash

In 1961 the US Air Force accidentally dropped two nuclear bombs on North Carolina, each more than 250 times the destructive power of the Hiroshima bomb, but neither exploded. One of them remains buried in the ground where it landed.

17. After the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, hundreds of people (many of them already injured), made their way towards Nagasaki. Of these, 165 survived BOTH atomic bombings and lived to tell the tale.

18. The amount of matter converted to energy in the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima was about 700 milligrams, less than one-third the mass of a U.S. dime.

19. The oleander is the official flower of the city of Hiroshima because it was the first to bloom again after the explosion of the atomic bomb in 1945.

20. American POWS have Killed in Hiroshima At least twenty-three US servicemen were in Hiroshima when the bomb fell. They were prisoners of war, former aviators, held at several locations in downtown Hiroshima.

21Tadatoshi Akiba

Tadatoshi Akiba

For decades, the mayor (Tadatoshi Akiba) of Hiroshima writes a letter of protest every time a nuclear test is conducted, as a plea to end the use of nuclear weapons.

22. In 1945, Japanese radar operators detected a small number of incoming US planes (which carried the nuclear bombs to be dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki) but decided not to intercept them as the small number of planes were not seen as a threat.

23. An American made bank vault (Teikou bank) saved the contents from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, after reconstruction of the bank the new manager sent a congratulatory letter to the vault manufacturer.

24. Some Hiroshima survivors grew "black fingernails," which were strange rod-shaped fingernails that contained active blood vessels and bled profusely when they broke off.

25. The atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima released an amount of energy equivalent to the conversion of 0.7 grams of matter into energy.