Tag Archives: History

66th Anniversary: Hiroshima Day Special – My Musings, A Survivor’s Story & Documentary

"Gembaku Domu" - The Atomic Bomb Dome

Since today marks the 66th anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima, here is a special post about probably the biggest humanitarian catastrophe in history. Between 150,000 and 245,000 people died after the U.S. dropped the atomic bomb “Little Boy” on Hiroshima, on August 6, 1945 and only three days later “Fat Boy” on Nagasaki. On August 15, Japan surrendered to the Allied Powers which officially ended the World War II. To this day, the ethical justification of the atomic bombing is still debated. Read this article for more information.

Do you think the use of the atomic bomb was justified, because it ended the war quickly? In my opinion, what happened in Hiroshima and Nagasaki is probably the most horrible crime against humanity ever committed.

As a History student I am always confronted with the big question “Do we learn from History?” and since I am a quite realistic person I always answer it with a clear “No.” as there are always new wars and new reports of violence and murder in the news. Still, catastrophes like the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki force us to at least try to learn from History. Always remember what happened this day 66 years ago in Japan, as well as the Holocaust in Germany, the Genocide in Armenia, in Rwanda and anywhere else people are killed for politics, ethnical differences, religion or any other reason!

A few months ago I was incredibly lucky to get the opportunity to talk to a survivor of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima. Even though I’ve known all the facts about the bombing from school and University, it was on this day that I realized for the first time the extend of the catastrophe and gained insight into the people’s experience of the bombings.
I have found this incredible article about a man who didn’t only survive the bombing of Hiroshima, but also of Nagasaki:

It will go down as one of the most inspiring survival stories ever to emerge from a horrific war. Tsutomu Yamaguchi was in his twenties when he found himself in Hiroshima on the morning of 6 August 1945, as a single B-29 US bomber droned overhead. The “Little Boy” bomb that it dropped from its payload would kill or injure 160,000 people by the day’s end.
Among them was the young engineer – who was in town on a business trip for Mitsubishi Heavy Industries – who stepped off a tram as the bomb exploded.

Despite being 3km (just under two miles) from Ground Zero, the blast temporarily blinded him, destroyed his left eardrum and inflicted horrific burns over much of the top half of his body. The following morning, he braved another dose of radiation as he ventured into Hiroshima city centre, determined to catch a train home, away from the nightmare.

But home for Mr Yamaguchi was Nagasaki, where two days later the “Fat Man” bomb was dropped, killing 70,000 people and creating a city where, in the words of its mayor, “not even the sound of insects could be heard”. In a bitter twist of fate, Yamaguchi was again 3km from the centre of the second explosion. In fact, he was in the office explaining to his boss how he had almost been killed days before, when suddenly the same white light filled the room. “I thought the mushroom cloud had followed me from Hiroshima,” Mr Yamaguchi said.

Continue reading 66th Anniversary: Hiroshima Day Special – My Musings, A Survivor’s Story & Documentary

Xzibit: ‘Planking’s origins are in the slave trade – it’s not funny’

Xzibit has launched an attack on ‘planking’ and implied that it has racist connotations.

The rapper argued that the craze – which sees people lie down in unusual places and post a picture online – is “not funny” as it has origins in the slave trade.

“Planking is THE dumbest shit ever,” he wrote on his Twitter page, Twitter.com/xzibit.

“Planking was a way to transport slaves on ships during the slave trade, it’s not funny. Educate yourselves,” he later tweeted, before continuing: “Don’t get it twisted. I care less where your dumb asses lay face down and take pictures of the shit, I’m just telling you where it came from.”

A number of bloggers and online commentators have moved to back the former Pimp My Ride host’s slave trade claims, citing research which apparently shows that slaves were forced to adopt the pose when they were chained to ‘plank’ beds.

The craze has also attracted criticism from safety campaigners after a number of high profile accidents, including a man who fell to his death from a seventh floor balcony in Australia.

The likes of Kings Of Leon, Katy Perry, Chris Brown and Justin Bieber have all posted pictures of themselves planking on Twitter.


Money Tight, Museums Favor Their Own Works Over Traveling Shows

Metropolitan Museum of Art

When the recession forced museums to cut back on expensive loan shows a few years ago, some worried that it would hurt attendance: With great works from around the world replaced by stuff hauled up from storage rooms, would art lovers’ hearts still flutter?

Now, though, many museum directors are finding virtue in necessity. Shows built largely from in-house collections have drawn well, they say, and curators are introducing the public to unsung treasures.

“If the recession has compelled us as museums in this country to focus even more intensely than we have in the past on our collections, that’s a good thing,” said Glenn D. Lowry, the director of the Museum of Modern Art. “Because they’re our primary responsibility.”
Continue reading Money Tight, Museums Favor Their Own Works Over Traveling Shows

Extra! Extra! How Did Journalists Cover Pearl Harbor The Day After? (via NewsFeed)

Today they may have Tweeted: "Thousands dead in Hawaii after JP attack. Worst ever on homeland. FDR: US in it to win it." But on Dec. 8, 1941, one day after the bloodiest attack on U.S. soil by a foreign country, news organizations attempted to make sense of it all. Far removed from the future 24/7 news cycle, the correspondents of the era had only bits and pieces of information from the Japanese assault on Hawaii and did their best to put it int … Read More

via NewsFeed

Five Books: Race and Slavery

I want to recommend the great website to you. Every day an eminent writer, thinker, commentator, politician, academic chooses five books on their specialist subject. It’s very interesting to read and you should definately check it out if you’re interested in Literature. Today the Anglo-Nigerian historian shares his top five books on race and slavery:

The UN Commission on Human Rights meets this week and David Olusoga chooses five books on race and slavery including a book of American photography. ‘There are repeated pictures of lynchings – those “strange fruit” images of black men hanging from trees. They are truly shocking partly because you keep thinking, as you get into the 1930s, that surely we’re past that, yet you turn a page and there is another photo of a lynching.’

Read full article here!