On this date in history, in 1945 -- 76 years ago -- the U.S. dropped its second atomic bomb on Japan. The port city of Nagasaki was devastated, instantly killing more than 70,000 people.
Commemorations were held on Monday throughout Japan as the world remembered yet another anniversary of what many say was a crime against humanity. Following the bombing, tens of thousands more would die of radiation sickness and related diseases.
The bombing of Nagasaki followed the atomic bomb attack on Hiroshima three days earlier, on August 6, 1945. U.S. President Harry S. Truman, a populist leader of the Democratic Party, ignored the suggestions of his military advisors, who said that he should send a telegram to Japan and ask that they watch as Washington obliterates an uninhabited island in the Pacific.
But Truman decided to use a weapon of mass destruction, not once but twice -- hitting two civilian targets -- and watching Japanese victims, as guinea pigs, deal with the horrible consequences of nuclear warfare.