Why Hiroshima Was Celebrating Just 2 Years After the Bomb Dropped

What did we learn?


One might have expected the people of Hiroshima, on the second anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb, to convene in mourning for a tragedy still painfully fresh. But on Aug. 6, 1947, the people of that city gathered to send a message of hope and resilience to the world: The epicenter of the bombing was now, they declared, the epicenter of world peace.

LIFE Magazine, having assigned Cary Mydans to photograph the festival, described how the tone of that day seemed incongruous to those who read about it in the press:

A startled world read that Hiroshima, proclaiming itself the new world mecca for peace, had held a carnival. The people planted a camphor tree, which is a symbol of long life, and they prayed, too. But then they paraded through the streets, listened to speeches and had fun. Hiroshima seemed to have risen from the dead. Theā€¦

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