Sadako Sasaki was just 12 years old when she passed away in 1955. She died from the effects of her exposure to the Hiroshima atomic bomb. In the decades since, Sadako has become a symbol of the toll of nuclear war on civilians and the 1,000 paper cranes she folded before her death became an emblem of determination and peace.
On August 6th 1945, for the first time in history, the United States Air Force detonated an atomic bomb over Hiroshima. The explosion wiped out 90 percent of the city, and immediately killed up to 80,000 people. Radiation exposure from Hiroshima ultimately killed tens of thousands of people in the years after the blast. Cases of leukemia peaked in the early to mid-1950s.
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