Modal close

Dear Democracy Now! visitor,

You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for in-depth stories that expose corporate and government abuses of power. Democracy Now! brings you crucial reporting like our coverage from the front lines of the standoff at Standing Rock or news about the movements fighting for peace, racial and economic justice, immigrant rights and LGBTQ equality. We produce our daily news hour at a fraction of the budget of a commercial news operation—all without ads, government funding or corporate sponsorship. How is this possible? Only with your support. If every visitor to this site in December gave just $10 we could cover our basic operating costs for 2017. Pretty exciting, right? So, if you've been waiting to make your contribution to Democracy Now!, today is your day. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you and everybody else in 2017.

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.

Topics

Democracy Now! Commemorates the 58th Anniversary of the Hiroshima Bombing: An Interview with Hiroshima Survivor Shigeko Sasamori

StoryAugust 06, 2003
Watch iconWatch Full Show

On August 6th, 1945 the U.S. dropped the first atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima, Japan. The total number killed by the bomb exceeded 200,000. Three days later a second atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. 140,000 people died as a result.

On August 6th, 1945 Harry S. Truman made an announcement to the American public: He said "Sixteen hours ago an American airplane dropped one bomb on Hiroshima, an important Japanese Army base."

The bomb, nicknamed "Little Boy," was the first atomic weapon in history to be used in a military operation. 58 years ago today, it was dropped on the city of Hiroshima, Japan. It exploded 1,900 feet above the city center. By the end of 1945, 140,00 people were killed as a direct result of the bombing. In the following five years, the number killed rose to over 200,000.

Although Hiroshima produced military items and housed soldiers, it was not selected as a "purely military target" as President Truman had promised. There were six civilians living in Hiroshima to every soldier.

In his speech Truman described the bomb as a revolutionary new force for destruction, harnessing the basic power of the universe. He warned that if the Japanese did not surrender unconditionally, "they may expect a rain of ruin from the air, the like of which has never been seen on this earth."

Three days later on August 9th, 1945 the United States dropped a second atomic bomb on Nagasaki. 70,000 people lost their lives as a result. A total of 140,00 died within the next five years.

Today a Democracy Now! special commemorating the 58th Anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. We spend the hour listening to the words of survivors of Hiroshima.

We will play an interview with Hiroshima survivor Shigeko Sasamori. She was 13 at the time of the bombing. Shigeko is 71 years-old and lives in Marina Del Rey, California. She is one of 24 young Japanese women invited to New York for surgical reconstruction treatment after the bombing. They came to be known as "Hiroshima Maidens."

Shigeko Sasamori is in Hiroshima this week dedicating a memorial to Norman Cousins, the American journalist who brought her and 23-other Hiroshima survivors over to the United States for treatment.

  • Shigeko Sasamori, survivor of the Hiroshima bombing.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.

Make a donation