"The first experimental man-made atomic bomb explosion in history took place on top of a steel tower in the desert of New Mexico. Zero hour was 5.38am on July 16 at the airbase at Alamogordo, in New Mexico. Success was greater than the most ambitious estimates of the scientists.
As the components arrived from distant points tension among the scientists mounted. They knew that a false move would destroy them and all their efforts. There were grave moments when the assembly on one vital section of the bomb was delayed. But at length it was successfully pieced together and on July 14 was elevated to the top of the steel tower.
Not only the apparatus necessary to explode the bomb but also instruments to measure the effect had to be be rigged on the tower. The nearest observation point was 10,000 yards south of the tower. Forty-five seconds before the explosion a robot mechanism took over, and the whole process went through without human control with truly shattering success.
After a blinding flash there came a tremendous and sustained roar and heavy pressure waves that knocked down two men outside the control centre, which was more than five miles away from the blast tower. A huge multi-coloured cloud surged and boiled up to a height of 40,000 feet. Where the tower had stood there was a huge sloping crater.
Major General Leslie R. Groves, head of the atomic bomb project, said: "First came a burst of light of a brilliance beyond any comparison. About 40 seconds later came a shock wave followed by sound. A massive cloud billowed upwards with tremendous power, reaching the substratosphere in about five minutes. Two supplementary explosions of minor effect occured.
"Two minutes before the scheduled firing time all persons lay face down with their feet pointing towards the explosion. Most of us in accordance with orders shielded our eyes. We all rolled over and looked through dark glasses at the ball of fire. Neither the shock wave nor the sounds seemed startling after out astonishment at the extraordinary lighting intensity."
A blind girl 120 miles from the scene cried "What's that?" when the flash lighted the sky before the explosion - Reuters"
I think this is one of my favourite news articles ever. Can you think of a more awesome sight that has been witnessed in human history? And that's a serious question, as I'd like to try and find some first hand accounts of them to satisfy my curious soul