Were You Alive in July 1945?
Baby Boomer Trivia From July 1945: Atomic Bomb Test, Empire State Building Crash, & USS Indianapolis Sinks in Shark Infested Waters
The first atomic bomb was detonated as a test on July 16, 1945, forever changing the course of World War II and entering the history books for baby boomers and future generations to study in school.
On July 21st U.S. President Harry Truman approved the order for atomic bombs to be used against Japan.
The Empire State Building in New York City was enveloped in thick fog on July 28, 1945 when a U.S. Army B-25 bomber crashed into the building between the 79th and 80th floors. There were 14 casualties including all of the flight crew. Photo right: survivor-story.com
19-year-old elevator operator Betty Lou Oliver was working on the 80th floor and survived the plane crash. She was put on the elevator and then survived a 75-story fall when the elevator cables failed. She broke her neck, pelvis and back in the fall, but lived to become a senior citizen (died March 8 1994, age 68).
Japanese submarine forces on the I-58 torpedoed the USS Indianapolis in the Philippines on July 30, 1945. The bombing caused the largest single incident loss of life at sea in the history of the U.S. Navy when the ship sank within 12 minutes. 300 of the crew went down with the ship and almost 900 jumped into the Philippine Sea. It was 4 days before the wreck was spotted in the ocean by rescuers.
Shark attacks, dehydration, exposure and saltwater poisoning were attributed to the deaths of all but 317 of the USS Indianapolis crew. Captain Quint (Richard Dreyfus) immortalized the experience of the survivors in a monologue in the movie Jaws (1975) .