September 3, 1945 (a Monday)

In the early hours on this date, Wilfred Graham Burchett entered Hiroshima alone, less than a month after the atomic bombing of the city. He was the first Western journalist — and almost certainly the first Westerner other than prisoners of war — to reach Hiroshima after the bomb and was the only person to get an uncensored story out of Japan. The story which he typed out on his battered Baby Hermes typewriter, sitting among the ruins, remains one of the most important Western eyewitness accounts, and the first attempt to come to terms with the full human and moral consequences of the United States’ initiation of nuclear war. It was published in the London Daily Express on September 5 under the ominous headline “30th Day in Hiroshima: Those who escaped begin to die, victims of The Atomic Plague.”

Burchett’s firsthand account was censored throughout the United States. Shortly before he died of cancer in 1983, his book entitled Shadows of Hiroshima was published.

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