Photo by Ed Westcott

In July 1945, President Harry S. Truman issued the Potsdam Declaration, after nearly four years of bloody war with Imperial Japan. "We call upon the government of Japan to proclaim now the unconditional surrender of all Japanese armed forces. …The alternative for Japan is prompt and utter destruction." The Japanese government did not respond, and the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were set in motion.

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