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National Atomic Veterans Day 2023: Date, History, Facts Regarding the Atomic Bombings of Tokyo and Nagasaki

On July 15, 1983, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed July 16 as National Atomic Veterans' Day, proclaiming it 'a day dedicated to those patriotic Americans who, through their participation in these tests, helped lead the United States to the forefront of technology in defence of our great nation and the freedoms we Americans hold so dear.'

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The 16th of July is National Atomic Veterans Day. The President proclaimed July 16, 2021 as National Atomic Veterans’ Day on July 15, 2021, and encouraged all Americans to observe the day with ceremonies and activities honouring atomic veterans. As part of the National Defence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022, President Biden signed into law a bill that recognises atomic veterans. The legislation also mandates that the President annually issue a proclamation calling for the observance of National Atomic Veterans Day.

The background of National Atomic Veterans Day

On July 15, 1983, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed July 16 as National Atomic Veterans’ Day, proclaiming it “a day dedicated to those patriotic Americans who, through their participation in these tests, helped lead the United States to the forefront of technology in defence of our great nation and the freedoms we Americans hold so dear.” However, the President’s designation was only for July 16, 1983 and not for each succeeding year. Later, the Virginia House of Delegates, with Senate approval, designated July 16 as National Atomic Veterans’ Day in Virginia for 2015 and every year thereafter.

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On July 16, 1945, the United States Army detonated the world’s first nuclear weapon, known by its codename Trinity, in the Jornada del Muertos desert in New Mexico. Atomic veterans witnessed and participated in approximately 235 nuclear weapon tests between 1945 and 1962, served in or around Hiroshima and Nagasaki, or were confined as prisoners of war in or around Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Numerous atomic veterans developed severe health conditions due to radiation exposure. As they were sworn to secrecy, they were unable to obtain medical care or disability compensation from the Department of Veterans Affairs of the United States.

The Nuclear Radiation and Secrecy Agreements Act was repealed by the United States Congress in 1966, allowing atomic veterans to discuss their experiences and apply for VA benefits. Veterans of the atomic era are eligible for free medical care and compensation in the form of disability allowance, which may include disbursements to a survivor’s spouse or children. The National Association of Atomic Veterans was established in 1979 to aid atomic veterans in obtaining medical treatment and assistance. As part of the National Defence Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2022, legislation by U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger was signed into law by President Joe Biden in 2021, recognising atomic veterans.

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5 Facts Regarding the Atomic Bombings of Tokyo and Nagasaki

The initial target list included Kokura, Hiroshima, Yokohama, Niigata, and Kyoto; however, Kyoto was spared due to its cultural significance, and Nagasaki replaced it.

The Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings resulted in the deaths of between 129,000 and 226,000 individuals, the vast majority of whom were civilians.

Tsutomu Yamaguchi is the only individual to have survived both atomic explosions.

Oleander is the city’s official flower because it was the first flower to bloom following the explosions.

Since it was lighted in 1964, the Flame of Peace monument has burned continuously, and it will continue to do so until all atomic bombs are destroyed and the threat of nuclear destruction is eliminated.


Year Date Day
2023 July 16 Sunday
2024 July 16 Tuesday
2025 July 16 Wednesday
2026 July 16 Thursday
2027 July 16 Friday
Arshiya Khan
Arshiya Khan
Arshiya Khan is a Commerce graduate who loves to write on general and trending topics.

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