Seventy-one years ago today, United States airmen dropped a nuclear bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima. At 8:15 a.m., the first bomb exploded over Hiroshima, killing 140,000 people. The Genbaku Dome was the only building left standing near the hypocenter of the bomb’s blast. Designed by Czech architect Jan Letzel, it was finished in 1915 and housed the Hiroshima Commercial Exhibition Hall.
Every year, thousands gather at the iconic dome, now the Hiroshima Peace Memorial, to remember the day that forever changed the world. Here’s a look at the dome all over the years as the city of Hiroshima is resurrected around it.
The remains of the Hiroshima Prefectural Industry Promotion Building, known as the Atomic-Bomb Dome, in September 1945. ( AFP/Getty Images)
Young girls look at a poster near the center of the bomb drop in Hiroshima, Japan, on Aug. 5, 1949. In the background, the Industrial Exhibition Hall, enclosed by a bamboo fence, will be kept in its present state as a memorial remember of the “A Bomb.” (AP)
A souvenir shop stands in the street near the shattered dome of the Industry Hall near the center of the A-bomb blast in Hiroshima on Aug. 3, 1951. (Kyodo via AP)
A general view of the crowd gathered at Hiroshima’s Peace Memorial Park on Aug. 6, 1954, for ceremonies marking the ninth anniversary of the first atomic bomb used in warfare. (Yuichi Ishizaki/AP)
On Aug. 2, 1955, as the new Hiroshima nears the 10th anniversary of the blast on Aug. 6. (AP Photo)
Crowds jam the area of the atom bomb memorial, center, at ceremonies marking the 18th anniversary of the atom bomb attack on the city, Aug. 6, 1963. At top center is the gutted dome that has been maintained as it was left by the attack. Light towers behind dome are those of a newly constructed baseball park. (AP)