A locomotive and cask cars in front of B Reactor. Photo courtesy of Harley Cowan.

The Atomic Heritage Foundation's 2017 annual report is now available online. The report details AHF's accomplishments in 2017 and ongoing efforts to preserve and interpret the history and legacy of the Manhattan Project.

Highlights include the "Voices of the Manhattan Project" website reaching 500 interviews; new "Ranger in Your Pocket" programs on the Hans Bethe House at Los Alamos, the University of Chicago's Metallurgical Laboratory, Los Alamos Innovations, and Oak Ridge; updates on the three sites of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park (Oak Ridge, TN, Hanford, WA, and Los Alamos, NM); and events on Hispano and Native American experiences of the Manhattan Project and the 75th anniversary of Chicago Pile-1.

WAGuideExpanded Edition of Washington Guidebook
The Atomic Heritage Foundation (AHF), in partnership with the B Reactor Museum Association (BRMA) and other organizations, has published a new edition of its popular, colorful guide to Manhattan Project sites in Washington State. AHF President Cindy Kelly stated, "With the Manhattan Project National Historical Park drawing thousands of new visitors, we saw the need for a more comprehensive guide to Hanford's history. Working closely with BRMA and other local contributors, we expanded the original guidebook by one-third. New sections address Native American history, contributions of African-Americans to the Manhattan Project, Hanford's environmental legacy, and the dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan."

Documentary photographs and excerpts from AHF's extensive oral history collection bring to life the experiences of Hanford area residents before, during, and after World War II. B Reactor Museum Association President John Fox explained, "The nature of Hanford's operations has permanently transformed central Washington. Hanford both preserved a large natural area along a stretch of the Columbia River and yet developed a high technology work force engaged not only in handling and disposal of Hanford's nuclear waste, but also in diverse research at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and LIGO, the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Observatory."

A worker at Hanford Engineer Works. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Energy.
Before the Manhattan Project, farmers and Native Americans resided in the Hanford area. In 1943, the Army condemned 670 square miles of property in the Columbia Basin for plutonium production under the Manhattan Project. Federal government officials evicted Native Americans, farmers, and others who lived in the area. Today, visitors can tour the remaining pre-war sites including the Bruggemann Ranch House, the recently restored White Bluffs Bank, and the Hanford High School.

When the Manhattan Project took over the land, workers quickly began to build the world's first full-scale nuclear reactor, the B Reactor, and its support buildings; chemical separation plants; and new towns and communities for workers and their families. During the construction period, 50,000 workers lived in the Hanford Construction Camp, and it was among the five largest cities in Washington. The guidebook highlights the contributions of African-American workers , who provided essential labor for building the facilities and helped to transform the Tri-Cities in spite of racism and segregation.

The T Plant under construction at Hanford
The plutonium produced at Hanford was used in the "Fat Man" atomic bomb, which was dropped on the Japanese city of Nagasaki on August 9, 1945. A new section focuses on the
atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki , the controversy around the decision to use the atomic bombs, and the impact of the bombings on Japan. The guidebook describes the Manhattan Project National Historical Park and covers other sites in Washington State that played important roles in World War II and the Cold War.

The Atomic Heritage Foundation is very grateful to the B Reactor Museum Association for its close collaboration on the guidebook and to our other partners including the Hanford History Project, Hanford Reach Interpretive Center, Indian Eyes, National Park Service, Port of Benton, Tri-City Development Council, U.S. Department of Energy-Richland, Visit Tri-Cities, and Washington State Historical Society. AHF would like to thank the financial supporters of the guidebook: City of Richland, M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust, and Elizabeth and Warren Dean in memory of Manhattan Project veteran Watson C. Warriner, Sr.

For more details about the guidebook, click here . The guidebook can be purchased online on AHF's online storeAmazon, and at museum shops and other stores around the country.
SecretCities"Secret Cities" Opens at National Building Museum
On May 3, a new exhibition, "Secret Cities: The Architecture and Planning of the Manhattan Project," opened at the National Building Museum in Washington, DC. "Secret Cities" explores architecture and daily life at Hanford, WA, Los Alamos, NM, and Oak Ridge, TN during the Manhattan Project. AHF served as an advisor for the exhibition. The exhibition features excerpts from several AHF oral history interviews that recount life in these communities during World War II.

Martin Moeller, the National Building Museum's senior curator, explains, "The Manhattan Project was one of the most complicated endeavors in history. While its scientific, military, and political importance have been widely recognized, less well known is its significance in the history of architecture, engineering, and planning. This exhibition explores how the three new cities built for the Manhattan Project served as proving grounds for emerging ideas about buildings and communities. The exhibition also tells the very human story of the unique cultures that developed in these places, illuminated in part through several oral histories provided by the Atomic Heritage Foundation."

A family living in a trailer at Camp Hanford
"Secret Cities" covers a variety of topics, including the displacement caused by the Manhattan Project, how segregation was designed into the new communities, and the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The exhibition displays architectural plans, topographical models, historic photographs, and a variety of nuclear-related artifacts, from Fiestaware to radiation detectors. "Secret Cities" concludes with sections on the growth of Oak Ridge, Hanford, and Los Alamos since World War II, atomic culture, and the creation of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park in 2015.

The exhibition provides a thought-provoking look at the Manhattan Project's legacies for architecture, planning, engineering, and design. AHF highly recommends it to visitors and Washington, DC area residents. The exhibition is open now through March 3, 2019.

For more information about the exhibition, visit the Building Museum's website. "Secret Cities" was recently featured in The Guardian, Curbed, and Atlas Obscura. To read AHF's full article about the exhibition, click here.
InMemIn Memoriam: Ralph Gates, Krik Krikorian, Roslyn Robinson, David Pines, and Wilfrid Rall
Ralph Gates at the National WWII Memorial 
AHF lost a number of our friends in the past month, including Manhattan Project veterans Ralph Gates , Nerses "Krik" Krikorian , and Roslyn Robinson , as well as the distinguished physicist David Pines. We also learned of the passing of Manhattan Project veteran Wilfrid Rall .

Ralph Gates, a member of the Special Engineer Detachment, arrived in Los Alamos in May 1945. In an interview with AHF , Gates remembered, "I was rushed in at 8:00 AM to the Tech Area and was given a complete story on what we were there for." During his time in Los Alamos, Gates' primary job was casting shape charges for the plutonium bombs.

After a successful career as an engineer, Gates moved to Park City, Utah, in 1990. He interviewed more than one hundred Park City residents, recording the unique stories of a diverse population. Click here to read about Ralph's 2016 visit to Washington, DC on an Honor Flight for World War II veterans and other military veterans. You can listen to KPCW's story on Ralph here .

Nerses "Krik" Krikorian was born on a Turkish roadside in 1921 to parents who were fleeing the Armenian genocide. His family eventually immigrated to the United States, and Krikorian grew up in Niagara Falls, New York. During World War II, he worked for Union Carbide Research Laboratories making high-purity uranium and moved to Los Alamos in 1946 to work on polonium. In his AHF interview , Krikorian remembered his first day at Los Alamos: "We made it to Santa Fe and registered at 109 [East Palace]. I remember I was supposed to be here for one year and then go back to Union Carbide."

Krikorian ended up working at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) for many years. He was named a LANL Fellow and received the Los Alamos Medal (the top LANL award), the CIA's Intelligence Community Medallion, and two honorary doctorates. For more on his life, read his AHF profile , a tribute on LANL's website , and his Associated Press obituary .

Roslyn Robinson
Roslyn Robinson was born on March 31, 1920. In 1942, she and her husband, Sidney, began working at the University of Chicago's Metallurgical Laboratory. Robinson worked as a driver and in the administrative office. She was not aware of the project's goals, and did not learn about the atomic bombs until after they were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Robinson recalled her conflicting feelings about working on the Manhattan Project: "I'm glad I was involved in it, if it was a positive thing. But every time I hear of a story of a Japanese person or their family, then I would feel sort of, should I say, guilty of having been a part of that whole operation." She subsequently worked as a teacher and social worker in her community. Click here for the full article on Robinson .

David Pines
David Pines was an accomplished physicist whose work centered on theoretical astrophysics. During World War II, he studied at the University of California before joining the Navy. Pines held many high-ranking positions within the physics community, serving as the director of the Institute for Complex Adaptive Matter and teaching physics at the University of California, Davis and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Pines had a close relationship with J. Robert Oppenheimer, who was his teacher, mentor, and friend. He met Oppenheimer in 1946 and described how lucky he was to know someone that many "would classify in the 'genius' category." David Pines' full reflection on Oppenheimer's legacy is available in AHF's Oppenheimer and the Manhattan Project . To learn more about Pines' life, read his obituary in the New York Times .

Wilfrid Rall was a neuroscientist, physicist, and one of the founders of computational neuroscience. He worked as a research assistant in the physics division of the Chicago Met Lab from 1943-1945. Rall was one of the signers of the Szilard Petition, which cautioned against using the atomic bomb on Japan. He commented: "Leo wrote a petition, and I signed it. I understand that the atomic bomb was developed because of fear that Germany might get it first. It was a legitimate fear, and that made it a legitimate reason to get it done. But then the next question is, what about using it?" 

Rall spent most of his career working with the National Institutes of Health until his retirement in 1994. For more on Rall, please see his AHF profile , his 2015 Nelson County Times interview , and his obituary in the Washington Post .
RoundupHistory Article Roundup
Feynman's Los Alamos ID badge
Here is a roundup of some of the most interesting content published on the Manhattan Project and science history in the past month.

Feynman the joker: On the 100th anniversary of Richard Feynman's birth, historian of science Melinda Baldwin reassesses his life and personality. 

- The origins of Physics Today : Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) professor David Kaiser describes the early years of the magazine Physics Today. Physics Today marks its 70th anniversary this month.

A single jawbone has revealed just how much radiation Hiroshima bomb victims absorbed: Researchers have used a jawbone from a victim of the Hiroshima atomic bombing to assess how much radiation victims of the bombing were exposed to.
A survivor's skin burned in the pattern of her kimono

Tour follows teen's path when he was scarred by atomic bomb : A recent tour in Nagasaki retraced the route of Sumiteru Taniguchi, a teenage postal worker who survived the atomic bombing on August 9, 1945. Taniguchi, who suffered severe burns in the attack, later campaigned against nuclear weapons. He died last year at the age of 88.

New book shows Tinian's role in WWII atomic bombing : The Pacific Daily News describes historian and Tinian resident Don Farrell's new book, "Tinian and the Bomb."

- Bradbury Science Museum Celebrates 25th AnniversaryThe Los Alamos Daily Post reports on an event recognizing the 25th anniversary of the Bradbury Science Museum at its current location in Los Alamos. 
Here are some oral history interviews we have recently published on the  Voices of the Manhattan Project website
Nerses "Krik" Krikorian was born in Turkey in 1921. He was brought to North America at the age of four, escaping the aftermath of the Armenian genocide. After working on the Manhattan Project in Niagara Falls, NY, he arrived in Los Alamos in 1946. In this interview, he remembers his childhood and experiences as the eldest son in an immigrant family. He also discusses his work at Los Alamos and his involvement in laboratory-to-laboratory cooperation with the Soviet Union at the end of the Cold War.

Victor Kumin was a young scientist when he was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1944. In September 1944, he was transferred to Los Alamos, where he was a member of the Special Engineer Detachment (SED). In this interview, courtesy of the Story Preservation Initiative, Kumin discusses his time as a chemistry student at Harvard and joining the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos. He talks about secrecy and how he felt about the decision to use the atomic bombs.

Martin Mandelberg is an engineer who is writing a biography of Manhattan Project mathematician Richard Hamming. In this interview, Mandelberg provides an overview of Hamming's life and career, highlighting his important contributions to computing at Los Alamos and Bell Labs, and passion for solving big problems. Mandelberg also praises Hamming's mentorship of his graduate students.

Robert S. Norris is a senior fellow at the Federation of American Scientists and author of the definitive biography of General Leslie R. Groves, Racing for the Bomb: General Leslie R. Groves, the Manhattan Project's Indispensable Man. Norris provides an overview of how the Manhattan Project began, how the project sites were selected, and the role of British scientists in the project. He discusses how many Manhattan Project scientists feared that Germany would develop an atomic bomb first. He explains why Groves was an excellent leader, recruiting DuPont and other corporations and orchestrating the entire project.
The world of theoretical physics in the 1920s and 1930s knew no political boundaries. Information about discoveries was shared at international conferences and published in the open literature. When World War II appeared imminent, however, several countries secretly began research into the feasibility of an atomic bomb. 

To help put the Manhattan Project in context, AHF is capturing accounts of the pursuits in the Soviet Union and France. This week, AHF went to Stanford to interview David Holloway, author of "Stalin and the Bomb," and in two weeks will interview Helene Langevin-Joliot, daughter of Irene and Frederic Joliot-Curie and granddaughter of Marie and Pierre Curie, in France. 

This history is an international one. Eventually we hope to create educational resources on each of the countries that pursued an atomic bomb during World War II. 

Please consider supporting our efforts! Your contributions are essential to our success.

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