Hiroshima is the capital of Hiroshima Prefecture in Japan. As of June 1, 2019, the city had an estimated population of 1,199,391. The gross domestic product (GDP) in Greater Hiroshima, Hiroshima Urban Employment Area, was $61.3 billion as of 2010. Kazumi Matsui has been the city's mayor since April 2011.
Hiroshima was founded in 1589 as a castle town on the Ōta River delta. Following the Meiji Restoration in 1868, Hiroshima rapidly transformed into a major urban center and industrial hub. In 1889, Hiroshima officially gained city status. The city was a center of military activities during the imperial era, playing significant roles such as the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War, and the two world wars.
Towards the end of World War II, Hiroshima is best remembered as the first city targeted by a nuclear weapon, when the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) dropped an atomic bomb on the city at 8:15 a.m. on August 6, 1945. Most of the city was destroyed, and by the end of the year 90,000–166,000 had died as a result of the blast and its effects. The Hiroshima Peace Memorial (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) serves as a memorial of the bombing.
Hiroshima was rebuilt after the war. It has since become the largest city in the Chūgoku region of western Honshu, the largest island of Japan.
Hindenburg made 17 round trips across the Atlantic in 1936—its first and only full year of service—with ten trips to the United States and seven to Brazil. The flights were considered demonstrative rather than routine in schedule. The first passenger trip across the North Atlantic left Frankfurt on 6 May with 56 crew and 50 passengers, arriving in Lakehurst on 9 May. As the elevation at Rhein-Main’s airfield lies at 364 ft (111 m) above sea level, the airship could lift 13,200 lb (6.0 t) more at takeoff there than it could from Friedrichshafen which was situated at 1,367 ft (417 m). Each of the ten westward trips that season took 53 to 78 hours and eastward took 43 to 61 hours. The last eastward trip of the year left Lakehurst on October 10; the first North Atlantic trip of 1937 ended in the Hindenburg disaster.
The airship was said to be so stable a pen or pencil could be balanced on end atop a tablet without falling. Its launches were so smooth that passengers often missed them, believing the airship was still docked to its mooring mast. A one way fare between Germany and the United States was $400; Hindenburg passengers were affluent, usually entertainers, noted sportsmen, political figures, and leaders of industry.
Hindenburg was used again for propaganda when it flew over the Olympic Stadium in Berlin on August 1 during the opening ceremonies of the 1936 Summer Olympic Games. Shortly before the arrival of Adolf Hitler to declare the Games open, the airship crossed low over the packed stadium while trailing the Olympic flag on a long weighted line suspended from its gondola. On September 14, the ship flew over the annual Nuremberg Rally.
On October 8, 1936, Hindenburg made a 10.5 hour flight (the “Millionaires Flight”) over New England carrying 72 wealthy and influential passengers. Winthrop W. Aldrich. Nelson Rockefeller, German and American officials and naval officers, as well as key figures in the aviation industry such as Juan Trippe of Pan American Airways. The ship arrived at Boston by noon and returned to Lakehurst at 5:22 pm before making its final transatlantic flight of the season back to Frankfurt.
During 1936, Hindenburg had a Blüthner aluminium grand piano placed on board in the music salon, though the instrument was removed after the first year to save weight. Over the winter of 1936–37, several alterations were made to the airship’s structures.