I am not American, so this might just be something in my country, but growing up everyone knew about the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima. However, when we began studying this in high school everyone was surprised to learn that a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. Many times I've encountered people who have heard about Hiroshima but not Nagasaki.

Were they reported on differently at the time? Is there some historical reason for one being more infamous than the other (other than one being the first)?

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    Who was the second person to fly an airplane? The first of something is qualitatively different than the second one. – T.E.D. Jul 24 '17 at 0:44
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    I am a little surprised that people have heard of Hiroshima and not Nagasaki though. I learned about both in Primary School, and both stories were part of the narrative. It was much later that I learned the story of the Trinity test though. Even now, Hiroshima and Nagasaki generally remain linked when reporting of the history here in the UK. – sempaiscuba Jul 24 '17 at 1:11
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    infamous? That's a value judgment. As to being less known, I've never heard of people knowing of one but not the other. – jwenting Jul 24 '17 at 5:51
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    It may be a local thing. I don't think I ever met a person who heard only about Hiroshima, but not Nagasaki. – Greg Jul 24 '17 at 6:05
  • @jwenting - Maybe, but there is no film called "Nagasaki mon amour". So it seems that the bombing of Hiroshima is, in some way, more "known", "infamous", or at least "emblematic", than the one of Nagasaki. – Luís Henrique Jul 24 '17 at 10:40

Is there some historical reason for one being more infamous than the other (other than one being the first)?

I think that being the first is, by far, the main reason that, when someone says "atomic bombing", most people think "Hiroshima", or, perhaps, "Hiroshima... and, oh, Nagasaki".

I would say that another factor is, as a deleted answer hinted, the fact that more people died in Hiroshima than in Nagasaki (the bomb in Hiroshima hit the city in full, while Nagasaki was partially protected by hills surrounding the city, that provided some "shadow"). Another possibility is that Nagasaki is probably more well known in the "West" than Hiroshima, for other reasons besides being victimated by an atomic bomb - particularly for having been the only Japanese port left open to international trade during the Tokugawa shogunate and its policy of purposeful national isolation.

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    Sources would improve this answer. Currently this is just opinion (reasonable opinion, but ultimately just an opinion). – Mark C. Wallace Jul 24 '17 at 11:28
  • Re "...Nagasaki is probably more well known...", why is that? I don't know of either city in any other context. – jamesqf Jul 24 '17 at 17:50
  • @jamesqf - During the period of Japanese seclusion, Nagasaki was the only outlet for international trade with Japan, so it probably became one of the Japanese cities most known abroad. – Luís Henrique Jul 25 '17 at 0:27

Obviously, Hiroshima was the first and except for the witnesses to the test less than 2 months before and some top military and politicians, it was a complete shock. On the other hand, that the second bomb was used probably was also shocking in it own way.

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    I'm not sure this answers the question. – Mark C. Wallace Jul 24 '17 at 8:35
  • I am pretty sure it is as a good an answer to this sort of question as one can obtain, given that the premise is not too precise or provable. – Jeff Jul 24 '17 at 16:14

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