Jan. 27 marked the 63rd anniversary of the first nuclear weapons test in Nevada. The Atomic Energy Commission assured citizens that the tests were safe, but conducted the atomic tests when the wind was blowing east or northeast to avoid the large population centers in Las Vegas and California.
Within three to five years after the testing began, leukemia and other radiation-caused cancers appeared in residents of Utah, Arizona, and Nevada. People affected came to be known as "downwinders" since they were living downwind in the areas where nuclear fallout occurred. Let's make sure we never forget.
Christine G. Meecham