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On the morning of August 6th, 1945, 1900 feet above Hiroshima, Japan, one hundred forty pounds of highly enriched uranium-235 collided with itself, triggering the first manmade nuclear explosion ever detonated over a populated city (“Little Boy” 1). Seconds later, the lives of 70,000 men, women and children were extinguished (“The Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima” 6). Over the course of the next several years the effects of radiation poisoning would kill an additional one hundred thirty thousand people, making the first atomic bomb, nicknamed “little boy”, the most devastating weapon ever used by mankind - for an astonishingly short four days (“The Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima” 6). On the morning of August 9th, 1945, another atomic bomb, more powerful than the first, was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan (“The Atomic Bombing of Nagasaki” 1). Just as “little boy” did in Hiroshima, this bomb, nicknamed “fat man”, decimated the population of Nagasaki. Six days later Emperor Hirohito of Japan announced the unconditional surrender of his country (Gordon 5). A lengthy war had finally come to an end, and Americans celebrated not only an end to hostilities and the homecoming of their fighting men, but the utter destruction of two Japanese cities. Having been witness to such events as the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the attack on American soil by the Japanese Imperial Navy that resulted in Japan entering the war, and the Bataan Death March, the cruel forced march of prisoners of war that angered millions all over the world, most Americans were overjoyed to finally have their revenge. But even amidst the confetti, the spirits, and the baby booming that immediately followed V-J, Victory in Japan, day, there were those who frowned upon the use of a... ... middle of paper ... ...and the End of World War II. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1966. Print. Feynman, Richard Phillips. “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman!”: Adventures of a Curious Character”. New York: W.W. Norton, 1985. Print. Gordin, Michael. Five Days in August. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007. Print. “Little Boy”. The Manhattan Project Heritage Preservation Association Inc. Web. 18 Jan. 2011. “Mutual Assured Destruction”. Nuclear Files. Web. 19 Jan. 2011. “M&M’s History”. Mars. Web. 18 Jan. 2011. “Operation Downfall”. History Learning Site. Web. 18 Jan. 2011. “The Atomic Bombing of Hiroshima”. Office of History and Heritage Resources. U.S. De partment of Energy. Web. 18 Jan. 2011. “The Atomic Bombing of Nagasaki”. Office of History and Heritage Resources. U.S. De partment of Energy. Web. 18 Jan. 2011.
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