The Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were bombed by an American B-29 bomber on August 6, 1945 during World War II. It was the first time in human history that an atomic bomb was used, and the effect was catastrophic. 90% of the city was wiped out, killing 80,000 people in an instant. Later, tens of thousands more would die of radiation exposure.
Three days after Hiroshima was effectively erased from the map, Nagasaki was bombed in the same way, immediately killing 40,000 more. On August 15 of that year, Emporer Hirohito announced Japan’s surrender to the United States. This iconic photo of the mushroom cloud over Hiroshima was taken just after the bomb, known as “Little Boy” was dropped onto the city.
Other than the B-29 bomber called the “Enola Gay”, there were two other accompanying planes, and the shot was taken from the air. It, like the photo of 9/11’s Falling Man, forever freezes a tragic moment in time. In this case, that moment was the last for tens of thousands and not one man.