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This is Helen Brush Jenkins' shot of pre-dawn Los Angeles lit up by a huge atomic test explosion 400 miles away in Nevada, Feb. 1, 1951. Looking east on Los Angeles Street, City Hall is visible in the distance (left), and the original St. Joseph's Church is on the right. (The church burned down in the early '80s. All the light in the photo is from the atom blast, not the coming dawn. The city shook violently from the shock wave. Jenkins' exposed her film at just the right moment, capturing the shot from the roof of the Daily News building at Pico and Los Angeles Streets. She scooped every paper in town, and the photo was picked up in newspapers all over the country.
(Photo courtesy of Helen Brush Jenkins.)


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