Source: Atomic Heritage Foundation Newsletter | June 6, 2017
The Manhattan Project National Historical Park (NHP) is making progress in its second full year of operation. The National Park Service and the local sites continue to develop exciting initiatives at the park’s three units: Oak Ridge, TN, Hanford, WA, and Los Alamos, NM.
Los Alamos: On May 27, the Los Alamos Historical Society (LAHS) received $10,000 from the National Park Service’s Heritage Partnerships Program. The Heritage Partnerships Program supports efforts to preserve, interpret, and protect National Historic Landmarks.
With these funds, LAHS will develop an interpretive plan for historic Fuller Lodge, where scientists and workers dined during the Manhattan Project. A longtime center for the community, Fuller Lodge has been called the “heart and soul of Los Alamos.” U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) and Manhattan Project NHP Superintendent Kris Kirby announced the award at an event in Los Alamos.
The Los Alamos History Museum is also fostering a dialogue between Los Alamos and the two Japanese cities devastated by the atomic bombs during World War II. An exhibit called “Culture and Collaboration: The Los Alamos/Japan Project,” open through July, discusses multiple perspectives on the Manhattan Project and ways to build understanding between the U.S. and Japan. Visitors to the exhibit can create paper cranes that will be donated to Hiroshima and Nagasaki when two representatives of the Museum attend the annual commemorations of the atomic bombings on August 6 and August 9. The following month, Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum Director Dr. Kenji Shiga will visit Los Alamos for the first time.
Oak Ridge: Secretary of Energy Rick Perry recently visited Oak Ridge and Los Alamos as part of a trip to several national laboratories. He toured Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the Y-12 National Security Complex. Secretary Perry touted ORNL’s innovative work in fields such as supercomputing and 3D printing. His visit was covered by Oak Ridge Today and numerous other media outlets.
Oak Ridge kicked off its annual Secret City Festival on June 2. The festival runs through June 10. Highlights include tours of Y-12 and the X-10 Graphite Reactor, exhibits on Oak Ridge’s history, World War II reenactments, concerts, and much more. More information is available online.
The Manhattan Project NHP at Oak Ridge is continuing several popular events, including Ranger-led bike rides around Oak Ridge and programs on secrecy and espionage during the Manhattan Project. On June 15, a photography exhibit called “Natural Synergy” will open at the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce. The exhibit will highlight the Manhattan Project contributions of naturalized American citizens. The following day, June 16, the National Park Service and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service will host a naturalization ceremony for new U.S. citizens at the American Museum of Science and Energy (AMSE). All are welcome to attend.
Hanford: Bus tours of B Reactor and pre-war Manhattan Project sites, organized by the Department of Energy, are well underway at the Hanford unit of the Manhattan Project NHP. The B Reactor tour takes visitors through the world’s first full-scale plutonium production reactor.
The pre-war sites tour includes the Bruggemann Warehouse, Hanford High School, the First Bank of White Bluffs, and other locations from the communities that were evicted by the government for the Manhattan Project.
Before you go, be sure to check out AHF’s “Ranger in Your Pocket” online tours of Hanford, as well as AHF and the B Reactor Museum Association’s “Know Before You Go” program. These “Ranger in Your Pocket” tours use firsthand accounts to share stories of the agricultural communities evicted by the Manhattan Project, working on the plutonium production facilities, and living in Hanford Camp and Richland communities.
After completing the Manhattan Project NHP’s foundation document earlier this year, the National Park Service will now develop an interpretive plan, collections management plan, and introductory film. The Atomic Heritage Foundation is working on a variety of educational resources to help support the Manhattan Project NHP. Our Manhattan Project Veterans Database currently features more than 13,500 profiles of Manhattan Project veterans. The “Voices of the Manhattan Project” website now includes more than 450 interviews.