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Thousands mark first atomic blast

WHITE SANDS MISSLE RANGE, New Mexico (AP) -- Emmett Hatch's grandmother ordered him to drop to his knees and pray on July 16, 1945, shortly after the world's first atomic blast.

She was awake at 5:29:45 Mountain War Time that morning in Portales to make breakfast and saw the explosion from more than 220 miles (350 kilometers) away.

"She thought it was the coming of the Lord, because the sun rose in the west that day," said Hatch, who was 8 years old at the time.

Hatch joined thousands of others at Trinity Site on Saturday in a restricted area of the White Sands Missile Range for the 60th anniversary of the dawn of the nuclear age.

The Manhattan Project resulted in the two atomic bombs that killed hundreds of thousands of people in Japan in August 1945, essentially stunning Japan into surrender and ending World War II.

(Whole thing.)


Photo: Survivor, Shigeko Sasamori, recounts the day 60 years ago that an atomic bomb was dropped on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. (AP)

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