Civil rights leader heading to Los Alamos peace conference

FILE - In this Aug. 9, 1945 file photo, a mushroom cloud rises moments after the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, southern Japan. On two days in August 1945, U.S. planes dropped two atomic bombs, one on Hiroshima, one on Nagasaki, the first and only time nuclear weapons have been used. Their destructive power was unprecedented, incinerating buildings and people, and leaving lifelong scars on survivors, not just physical but also psychological, and on the cities themselves. Days later, World War II was over. (AP Photo/File)

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) – Civil rights leader James Lawson will headline a peace conference in Los Alamos aimed at drawing attention to the 70th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombings.

The confidant to the late Martin Luther King Jr. will speak Friday at the Campaign Nonviolence National Conference and Los Alamos Peace Vigils scheduled to last until Sunday.

Organizer John Dear says activists wanted to hold the conference in the town that gave birth to the atomic weapon during the anniversary of the bombings to highlight the continuing threat nuclear weapons pose to humanity.

Attendee also will see an English-language premiere of “Message from Hiroshima,” a documentary by Hiroshima survivor Masaaki Tanabe.

During the World War II-era Manhattan Project, scientists at the then-secret city of Los Alamos developed the weapon dropped on the Japanese cities.

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