March is Women’s History Month. Tens of thousands of women worked on the Manhattan Project as scientists, military service members, secretaries, welders, telephone operators, technicians, and in many other roles.

For Women’s History Month, the Department of Energy has developed a neat coloring book that can be downloaded and printed featuring scientists Blanche Lawrence, Floy Agnes Lee, Irène Joliot-Curie, and Lilli Hornig. DOE has also featured them in their poster series (see above image - by Cort Kreer for the Department of Energy).

For more on women in the Manhattan Project, please see our articles on the topic, including Women and the Bomb, Manhattan Project Spotlight: Women Workers, and Women's Army Corps.
  • Report from Hiroshima and Nagasaki
  • AHF Launches Program on French Nuclear History
  • In Memoriam: Roy Glauber and Esther Floth
  • History Article Roundup
  • "Voices of the Manhattan Project"
Report from Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Cindy Kelly, founder and president of the Atomic Heritage Foundation (AHF), traveled in Japan from February 7 to 22, 2019, visiting Tokyo, Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The purpose was to talk to Japanese government officials, museum directors, university professors, and hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors) about the atomic bomb and its legacy. (Pictured: Kelly with Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue.)
Four years ago on May 1, 2015, Kelly met with the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in New York City. The Mayors urged that the interpretation of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park include the devastating impacts of the atomic bombs on the people and cities in Japan. On this trip, Kelly was able to visit both Hiroshima and Nagasaki for the first time and record interviews with the Mayors. (Pictured: the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Dome.)

As President of the Mayors for Peace, Mayor Kazumi Matsui of Hiroshima is dedicated to ensuring that the full story of the atomic bombing is told so that there may be “no more Hiroshimas.” Mayor Tomihisa Taue of Nagasaki is equally concerned to convey the impact of the atomic bombings on Nagasaki. As leaders of the Mayors for Peace, they have recruited over 7,700 mayors worldwide and advocated for the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons which passed on July 7, 2017.
In Hiroshima, after exploring the Hiroshima Peace Park and looking at the impressive exhibitions at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, Kelly interviewed Museum Director Kenji Shiga and Chairperson Yasuyoshi Komizo of the Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation. She also recorded a presentation by hibakusha Keiko Ogura.

The next day in Hiroshima, she interviewed Robert “Bo” Jacobs of Hiroshima City University and Tomoko Watanabe, founder of Asian Network for Trust. After examining several enormous trees which survived the atomic bomb, Tomoko introduced Kelly to okonomiyaki, Hiroshima’s delicious specialty. Later, Kelly met with Mariko Nishizawa and Yuriko Koshobu to learn about the Hiroshima Prefecture’s Peace Promotion Project. (Pictured: a statue in the Nagasaki Peace Park.)

In Nagasaki, Kelly had an excellent tour of the Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Museum and Memorial Hall followed by an interview with Mayor Taue. Other interviews included Masao Tomonaga, who was two when the atomic bomb struck Nagasaki. Like his father, he became a doctor and later director of the Japanese Red Cross Nagasaki Atomic Bomb Hospital. In addition, Kelly interviewed Yoshiro Yamawaki and Mitsugi Moriguchi who shared their experiences as hibakusha. On March 10, 2018, Moriguchi became the first Nagasaki survivor to visit the B Reactor at Hanford.
At Nagasaki University, Kelly met with Director Tatsujiro Suzuki and his colleagues at the Research Center on the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons (RECNA). They were interested in AHF’s plans to create educational resources for high school teachers and students on the atomic bombs and their legacy. (Pictured from left: Masao Tomonaga, Cindy Kelly, Keiko Nakamura, Satoshi Hirose, and Tatsujiro Suzuki.)
In Tokyo, Professor Takao Takahara invited Kelly to address students and other faculty members at the Meiji Gakuin University. One student, Keyao “Kyle” Pan, is getting his doctorate at the University of Chicago. Faculty member Yuko Shibata recently published “Producing Hiroshima and Nagasaki,” a book about interpretation in literature, film and transnational politics. After a very lively session, Professor Takahara introduced Kelly to a delicious soba (buckwheat noodles) dinner in a small restaurant nearby. (Pictured: remnants of the Urakami Cathedral in Nagasaki.)

The success of the visit would not have been possible without the invaluable help of Sachiko Komatsu of the City of Hiroshima and Yayoi Minokawa of the City of Nagasaki. Ms. Kamatsu and Ms. Minokawa arranged many of the interviews, juggled schedules and venues, and were excellent translators. AHF is deeply grateful for their extraordinary assistance.

The trip to Japan was very stimulating and inspiring. With the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II in August 2020, AHF is expanding its efforts to include Japanese perspectives in its resources online and to create a series of engaging educational resources for high school teachers and students. Most immediately, AHF hopes to publish the interviews taken in Japan on AHF’s website this summer and looks forward to continued dialogue and collaboration in the future.
AHF Launches Program on French Nuclear History
Around the world, Marie Curie is recognized as one of the most brilliant scientists of the past 200 years. In recognition of the transformative discoveries of Marie Curie and other French nuclear scientists, the Atomic Heritage Foundation (AHF) has launched a new online educational program called “France and the Atomic Age” on its “Ranger in Your Pocket” website. (Pictured: Marie Curie, image courtesy Musée Curie coll. ACJC.)

With two dozen video vignettes featuring French scientists and experts, “France and the Atomic Age” provides a valuable overview of French nuclear history. The program highlights the pioneering scientific discoveries of the Curie family, French scientists’ contributions to the Manhattan Project, and France’s nuclear energy and weapons policies.
Marie and Pierre Curie’s work on radioactivity earned them the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics with Henri Becquerel. After Pierre’s death, Marie would be awarded the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their discovery of the radioactive elements polonium and radium. The discovery of radioactivity and radioactive elements revolutionized modern physics. These discoveries led to many scientific and engineering innovations, as well as the eventual development of nuclear reactors and weapons. (Pictured: Irène, Marie, and Irène's daughter Hélène. Image courtesy Musée Curie coll. ACJC.)

Marie and Pierre’s daughter Irène Curie continued in her parents’ footsteps, training as a chemist and working with her mother at the Radium Institute that Marie had founded in Paris. There, Irène met a promising young physicist named Frédéric Joliot.
They married and, like Marie and Pierre, embarked on a long collaborative career that would also earn them a Nobel Prize. With their discovery of artificial radioactivity in the early 1930s, Irène and Frédéric (pictured) realized that physicists would one day soon be able to harness the energy of the atom. Just a few years later, the discovery of nuclear fission led to an international race for the atomic bomb.
“France and the Atomic Age” describes the struggle of French scientists during World War II to keep nuclear secrets and materials out of the hands of the Nazis. With the fall of France imminent, in June 1940 Lew Kowarski and Hans Halban escaped from Bordeaux by boat to England. On board, they smuggled France’s entire supply of heavy water, which could have been used by the Nazis. Five French scientists, including Kowarski and Halban, were involved with the Manhattan Project. They were mostly located in Canada, where they successfully built a heavy water reactor at Chalk River. (Pictured: Irène and Frédéric with Lew Kowarski. Image courtesy Musée Curie coll. ACJC.)

After World War II, the French government named Frédéric Joliot-Curie as the director of a new agency, the Commissariat à l'Energie Atomique (CEA) or the Atomic Energy Commissariat. The program explores how France came to develop both nuclear energy and weapons. Today, France has over 300 nuclear weapons. Like the United States, France has a nuclear triad with weapons mounted on submarines, missiles, and airplanes.

The Atomic Heritage Foundation is very grateful to the Richard Lounsbery Foundation for its support of the project, and to the Institut Curie for providing photographs for use in the program. AHF also thanks Hélène Langevin-Joliot and Philippe Halban for contributing their wonderful personal accounts.
In Memoriam: Roy Glauber and Esther Floth
We lost two good friends and Manhattan Project veterans recently. On December 26, Nobel Prize winning physicist Roy Glauber passed away at the age of 93. On February 28, Esther Floth, who worked as a secretary for General Leslie Groves, died at age 96.
Roy Glauber, recruited to join the project when he was 18 years old, was one of the youngest scientists at Los Alamos during World War II. He worked under Hans Bethe, calculating the critical mass and neutron diffusion necessary for an atomic bomb. Glauber interacted with J. Robert Oppenheimer, Richard Feynman, Stanislaus Ulam, Robert Serber, and John von Neumann. Since he was not authorized to join the group of physicists closest to the Trinity Test site, Glauber and a small group of people camped on Sandia Peak near Albuquerque to witness the first atomic detonation on July 16, 1945.

After the war, Glauber devoted his career to developing theories regarding quantum physics and its application to light. Glauber was awarded the 2005 Nobel Prize in Physics for his foundational research in the field of quantum optics, "for his contribution to the quantum theory of optical coherence."

For more about Glauber and his involvement with the Manhattan Project, you can listen to his interviews on the Voices of the Manhattan Project website and visit his profile on the AHF website. You can also read obituaries in the Washington Post, the Harvard Crimson, and Physics World.
Esther Green Floth attended Strayer Business College in Washington, D.C., where she studied to become a secretary. During World War II, Floth was hired by General Groves, the director of the Manhattan Project.

Once she obtained top secret clearance, Floth joined Groves and his administrative assistant, Jean O’Leary, in a two-room office at the New War Department Building at 21st Street and Virginia Avenue NW. Floth met notable scientists such as J. Robert Oppenheimer, Ernest Lawrence, Edward Teller, and Niels Bohr over the course of her employment. She reflected fondly on visits from “Oppie” in her interview. “When he used to come in the office, if I did something for him, he would bring me candy or flowers. He was such a sweet man.”

At the conclusion of the war, Floth took a position with the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project in Fairbanks, Alaska. In 1951, she relocated to San Francisco to work for the manager of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC), remaining there until she married Edward Floth in 1953. Floth and her husband moved to Dublin, California, where they both found positions with the AEC at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.

For more information about Esther Green Floth and her involvement with the Manhattan Project, watch her interview on the Voices of the Manhattan Project website. You can view her photographs and letters on her profile.
History Article Roundup
Here is a roundup of interesting content published recently related to the Manhattan Project, World War II, and nuclear history: 
Ernest Lawrence’s brilliant failure: Physics Today describes the contributions of Manhattan Project scientists Ernest Lawrence, Luis Alvarez, and Edwin McMillan to the development of color television.

Lise Meitner – the forgotten woman of nuclear physics who deserved a Nobel Prize: The Conversation describes Lise Meitner’s (pictured) key contributions to the discovery of nuclear fission, and how as a Jewish woman she was left out of the awards for the discovery.

Nagasaki's educators changing perspective on A-bomb teachings: In Nagasaki, students are being taught more broadly about World War II history, with teachers encouraging student dialogue.
New Photo Exhibit Brings an Architect's Eye to Hanford History: Photographer Harley Cowan's masterful prints of properties in the Hanford unit of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park are now on display at the Allied Arts Gallery at the Park in Richland.

The Atomic Soldiers: The New York Times published an op-documentary with interviews of “Atomic Soldiers,” or US soldiers who took part in nuclear weapons tests. They recall witnessing the nuclear tests, and describe how the tests have impacted their lives and health.

The Secret Life of Mary Lucy Miller: A detailed look at Sgt. Miller (pictured), who held a doctorate in chemistry from Columbia University. She worked on plutonium chemistry at Los Alamos during the Manhattan Project.
"Voices of the Manhattan Project"
Here are some oral history interviews we have recently published on the  Voices of the Manhattan Project website
CJ Mitchell grew up in northeastern Texas. In this interview, he describes moving to Hanford after graduating from high school in 1947. Only 16 years old, Mitchell took a job working on the trailer park in North Richland and other construction projects. He later studied at Columbia Basin College and got a job at one of General Electric’s Hanford laboratories as an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) specialist. He describes the racism he encountered in the Tri-Cities area and how segregation and the Great Migration impacted him and his family. Mitchell, an avid sports enthusiast and coach, was also famous in the Northwest for his work as a sports official.
Eric Pierce is a senior scientist and leader of the Earth Sciences Group in the Environmental Sciences Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Born in New Orleans, Pierce has a Ph.D in low-temperature geochemistry from Tulane University. In this interview, Pierce describes some of the work of his team at Oak Ridge, including how contaminants and energy production byproducts such as mercury move through the environment. He provides an overview of the important mercury research and discoveries scientists have made at ORNL, and speaks to the collaborative and dynamic nature of ORNL as a workplace.
Norris Jernigan served in the 509th Composite Group at Wendover, UT, and Tinian Island during the Manhattan Project. In this interview, Jernigan describes being assigned to the Intelligence Office of the 393rd Bomb Squadron. As a clerk, he prepared information for briefing missions and typed subsequent reports. Jernigan discusses what it was like serving in Wendover and Tinian, the relationships between the different squadrons, and the atmosphere of the island during and between the atomic bombings of Japan. He also describes seeing the Enola Gay in pieces in 1980 before it was restored by the Smithsonian.
Robert “Bob” Krauss is the Official Historian of the 509th Composite Group. He and his wife, Amelia Krauss, published The 509th Remembered, which profiles the service members of the 509th Composite Group and the events that surrounded the group and its role in dropping the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In this interview, Krauss discusses how he became interested in collecting and preserving the history of the 509th and became the official historian for the 509th CG. He also recounts his relationship with some of the airmen, including Donald Albury, Ray Gallagher, Fred Olivi, Paul Tibbets, and others. He reflects on the atomic bombings, the legacy of the Manhattan Project, and visiting some of the Manhattan Project sites today.
Ronald E. Mickens is a physicist who currently teaches at Clark Atlanta University. He is a prominent voice in the African-American scientific community, and has written several works documenting the feats of previous black physicists. He was friendly with several African-American scientists who worked on the Manhattan Project, including J. Ernest Wilkins, and describes their careers and the racism they faced. Mickens also discusses his own career, the importance of curiosity to scientific research, and the challenges African-American scientists have had to overcome to pursue their research.
Thomas Cormier is a nuclear physicist who leads the Large Hadron Collider Heavy Ion Group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. In this interview, Cormier describes how he became interested in science at a young age. He then discusses his work at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, on experiments such as ALICE (A Large Ion Collider Experiment). Cormier underscores the importance of such research, explaining how it offers insight into the formation of our universe.
Our websites attracted nearly 3 million pageviews in 2018, including visits from hundreds of thousands of students. In 2019, we aim to reach thousands more students and educators by developing lesson plans and other classroom resources on the Manhattan Project and Cold War history.

But we can only do this with your help. P lease consider supporting AHF with a generous donation . Thank you very much!
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