On 16 July 1945, the first atom bomb was successfully tested in a desert in New Mexico. The blast was so powerful that the sand beneath it melted into a green glassy called Trinitite, the shock wave broke windows 120 miles away and the tremors were reportedly felt 160 miles from ground zero. The incredible destructive powers of the atom bomb on this day forever changed the world and set off 50 years of debate about the morality of using such powerful force.
The events from 16 July 1945, were kept secret from the world until 6 August, when the Japanese town of Hiroshima was bombed, ending World War II.
On 6 August 1945, an estimated 80,000 people were killed in a split second, when the US dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Some 13 square kilometres of the city was obliterated. By December, at least another 70,000 people had died from radiation and injuries.
Three days after Hiroshima's destruction, the US dropped an Atomic bomb on Nagasaki, resulting in the deaths of at least 70,000 people before the year was out.
Since 1945, tens of thousands more residents of the two cities have continued to suffer and die from radiation-induced cancers, birth defects and still births.
It is estimated that over 200,000 people died in the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.