In 1945 the United States of America dropped the first nuclear bomb on Japan, hitting the city of Hiroshima.
On the 7th of May 1945 General Alfred Jodl attempted to surrender only those Nazi forces still fighting in the West but this was not accepted by the Allied leaders and Jodl was told that only unconditional surrender of all German troops would be permitted. Jodl contacted Hitler’s successor Grand Admiral Karl Donitz with the terms and he was ordered to sign Germany’s unconditional surrender. This meant the end of the war in Europe and the following day the news was announced across the globe. Churchill made the announcement on the 8th of May as did Washington and Moscow proclaiming the day as Victory in Europe day (V.E. Day).
But the War with Japan continued and on the 26th of July 1945 leaders of the United States of America, the United Kingdom and China sent the Potsdam declaration to Japanese officials calling for the complete surrender of all Japanese forces. The Ultimatum gave specific terms for their surrender stating that there was no room for manoeuvre from the terms stated and if Japan didn’t agree to the terms then it would experience “prompt and utter destruction”. But Japanese leaders failed to take heed of the warning and accept the conditions of the Potsdam Declaration.
Consequently on the 6th of August 1945 the United States of America dropped the first nuclear bomb on Japan, hitting the city of Hiroshima. At approximately 08:15 Japanese time a B-29 Super-fortress called Enola Gay dropped its cargo on the unsuspecting city below. The device known as “Little Boy” was said to be more than 2,000 times more powerful than any bomb previously used in warfare (the equivalent of 15,000 tons of TNT). The explosion killed 140,000 of the 350,000 residents of Hiroshima and destroyed more than 60% of the buildings. United States President sent a radio broadcast shortly after warning Japan that if they didn’t accept the terms of the Potsdam Declaration then they should "expect a rain of ruin from the air, the like of which has never been seen on this earth."
On the 8th of August the Soviet Union also declared War on Japan, sending in troops in the early hours of the 9th of August 1945. Also on the 9th of August, the United States dropped the second nuclear bomb, this time on Nagasaki. It would not be until the 2nd of September 1945 that Japan would sign the “Japanese Instrument of Surrender” and the majority of military warfare of World War II ended.
In 1962 Jamaica gained its independence from the United Kingdom and joined the Commonwealth of Nations.
Christopher Columbus discovered the island of Jamaica on the 4th of May 1494 on his second trip to the region, having found the New World in March the previous year. Having promised gold that never materialised, to the Spanish crown, Columbus had been collecting slaves from the places he visited rather than return home empty handed. Many of these original Jamaicans were also taken as slaves. When Columbus did return, Queen Isabella ordered that the slave be returned as they were now subjects of Spain. Those that did return didn’t survive long and within 50 years all the original inhabitants were wiped out, from starvation or European diseases that they had no resistance for. Spain created the first settlement in Jamaica in 1510 and with no real natural resources to find it was used as a plantation, with African slaves working to supply Spanish ships.
Then in 1665 British Navy captured the island from the Spanish and set up a Port Royal. Mercenaries and pirates settled there with British backing to plunder the Spanish ships that were filled with gold and silver from their settlements in the Caribbean, on their way to Spain. The Island became very rich but the pirates that lived there had earned Port Royal the title of "wickedest city in the world". Britain also continued the use of African slaves on the island to grow sugar and although the tremendous wealth Britain gained from this small island, the slaves were very badly treated and lived in terrible conditions. This continued for almost two centauries until in 1833 Britain abolished slavery throughout the British Empire. On the 6th of August 1962 Jamaica gained its Independence from the UK and became a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.