Nagasaki, a major seaport and industrial center in Southern Japan, was the second and final target of a nuclear weapon.
Images courtesy the National Archives

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  • On August 9, 1945, the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan, destroying the city. The city of Hiroshima had been bombed three days earlier. Japan surrendered on Aug. 15, ending World War II.

    The bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki remain the only nuclear weapons ever used in warfare. Because of their ability to inflict mass destruction, and despite the proliferation of nuclear weaponry that followed World War II, many treaties have been signed to curtail their use and distribution.

  • Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry
    city Noun

    large settlement with a high population density.

    curtail Verb

    to cut short or reduce.

    destruction Noun


    inflict Verb

    to force something on something else.

    proliferation Noun

    very rapid growth or increase in production.

    warfare Noun

    armed conflict between two or more groups of people, usually representing different nations or other political organizations.

    World War II Noun

    (1939-1945) armed conflict between the Allies (represented by the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Soviet Union) and the Axis (represented by Germany, Italy, and Japan.)