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The man who survived the atomic bomb and 2 other weird facts about Hiroshima

Martin Luther King

The U.S dropped the world’s first atomic bomb on August 6, 1945, over the Japanese city of Hiroshima. The explosion was so cruel and magnanimous that it wiped out 90% of the city and annihilated 80,000 people.

In the coming years, weird facts about the bombing would be unearthed and come to light. Here’s a list of 3 such facts:

1) Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Hiroshima observes Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, making it the only country outside North America to celebrate the day that honors the civil rights leader.

Martin Luther King
Image credit: Timothy Krause

Before Dr. King was shot, he wrote a letter to Japan and expressed his desire to visit the country to spread the message of peace and nuclear disarmament. He greatly admired Japan’s resilience in light of the nuclear disaster.

2) The Bonsai tree that survived the atomic bomb

53 bonsai trees were donated by Japan to the United States for its bicentennial, including a 390-year-old white pine that survived the atomic bomb in Hiroshima.

The Bonsai Tree that survived the nuclear bomb
Image credit: Will Parson/Chesapeake Bay Program

This bonsai tree is on display at the National Arboretum’s National Bonsai and Penjing Museum in Washington, D.C.

The history of the bonsai tree was unknown until 2001 when two brothers showed up at the museum to check on their grandfather’s tree.

3) The man who survived Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bomb

Tsutomu Yamaguchi was in Hiroshima when the first atomic bomb was dropped – he survived the blast. Later, he traveled to Nagasaki and was there when the second atomic bomb was dropped – he survived again.

Tsutomu Yamaguchi
Image credit: NPR

Some call him the real-life cockroach. Others were afraid of him and thought he posed a threat and was contagious.

What happened in Hiroshima was unfortunate and some would argue, not the best way to respond to aggression.

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