It has been an exciting month for the Atomic Heritage Foundation. On November 10, the Manhattan Project National Historical Park was officially established when the Secretaries of Interior and Energy signed a Memorandum of Agreement on managing the park. Media outlets around the world covered the signing ceremony and the communities of Los Alamos, NM, Oak Ridge, TN, and Hanford, WA each celebrated the new Manhattan Project park. 

We are thrilled that the park is now a reality. We look forward to working with the National Park Service, partner organizations, local communities and many others as the new park takes shape. 

 
In This Issue 

Pioneers"Hanford's Pioneers" Tour Launches
The Atomic Heritage Foundation has launched an online program called Hanford's Pioneers, where visitors can hear first-hand accounts of the people who lived at Hanford, WA before the Manhattan Project took over the site. The program allows visitors to listen to stories from people who grew up in the towns of Hanford and White Bluffs and on the Bruggemann farm, or lived in the Hanford construction camp. Visitors can choose from more than 30 short audio/visual vignettes.

In February 1943, the Army Corps of Engineers took over 670 square miles in the Columbia Basin to build top-secret industrial production plants for the Manhattan Project. The program documents the sacrifices of Native Americans and early settlers who were evicted to make way for the world's first full-scale plutonium production facilities. Before the Manhattan Project, Russell Jim, a member of the Yakama Nation, recalled, "We lived in harmony with the area, with the river, with all of the environment."

Paul Bruggemann bought land at Hanford in the late 1930s. He built a sturdy home of river cobble stones and began farming several hundred acres. Developing a farm takes time, and he had not yet turned a profit when the family received bad news. Paul's son Ludwig was five when soldiers arrived at the home in two military jeeps. The Bruggemann family would have to leave the farm in two months to make way for a top-secret war project.

Spraying an orchard at Hanford, 1922
Photo courtesy of Our Hanford History
Thousands of people were forced off their lands when the Manhattan Project took over sites around the country. The people living in the small towns of Hanford and White Bluffs were told to pack up their belongings. Farmers were given around twenty-five cents an acre, which did not begin to cover the investment the farmers had made into their homes and farms. 

Annette Heriford, whose parents were forced to abandon their farm, proclaimed, "Why, it was ridiculous! Ridiculous!" Meanwhile, General Leslie Groves was dismissive of the claims of the farmers: "The juries all got very compassionate as to the price of the land, so we paid an awful lot more money for it than we would have if we had just taken it ruthlessly."

Shortly after the Army took over, the Hanford construction camp quickly mushroomed to 50,000 workers, becoming the fourth-largest city in Washington. Lawrence Denton, who moved from Idaho to take a job at the site, declared, "The construction camp was phenomenal." Hanford was transformed in a short time from a pastoral land to a secure military and nuclear materials production site.

The Bruggemann ranch house
For the "Hanford's Pioneers" program, AHF is very grateful for grants from the City of Richland, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the M. J. Murdock Charitable Trust. Thanks to the B Reactor Museum Association for its invaluable contributions as well as the Department of Energy-Richland, Mission Support Alliance, TRIDEC, Hanford Communities, the Hanford Reach Interpretive Center and members of the Hanford History Project. Colleen French, Maynard Plahuta, Tom Marceau, Russ Fabre, Mona Wright, and Kirk Christensen deserve special thanks for their support and involvement.
SymposiumManhattan Project Symposium Video Online
William E. Tewes (left) and Lawrence S. O'Rourke at the symposium
On June 3, 2015, the Atomic Heritage Foundation continued our commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Manhattan Project with a daylong symposium. Video from the symposium is now available on AHF's YouTube channel.

Approximately 300 attendees heard from top National Park Service and Department of Energy officials about the new Manhattan Project National Historical Park. Manhattan Project veterans and experts discussed innovations, women and the project, espionage, and the leadership of General Leslie R. Groves and J. Robert Oppenheimer.

Please note that due to the acoustics in the auditorium, you may need to turn up the volume on your computer to hear some of the sessions. The panel on the women of the Manhattan Project is not available on YouTube, but can be watched on C-SPAN's website.
NormanBrownIn Memoriam: Norman Brown
We are sad to report the passing of our friend and Manhattan Project veteran Norman Brown on November 7, 2015 at the age of 92. Not long after completing his sophomore year at MIT, Brown was recruited into the Manhattan Project. He was selected for the Special Engineer Detachment, and was first stationed at Oak Ridge before being sent to Los Alamos. 

At Los Alamos, Brown worked under physicist Art Wahl, who explained the entire project to Brown despite the fact that he had no security clearance. For the next two years, Brown worked with transuranic elements and helped purify the plutonium that went into the Fat Man implosion bomb. After the war, Brown received his PhD in physical chemistry from Brown University. He worked for several government agencies on food technology, renewable energy and international issues.

Brown pointing at the hemisphere
Brown spoke at our 70th anniversary events in Washington, DC in June 2015. He electrified the audience by bringing with him a lucite hemisphere that was forged in the original mold used for the plutonium pit, with trinitite embedded in it (right, next to a smaller paperweight with trinitite). Historian Dr. Alex Wellerstein wrote, "This is an incredible thing to have kept...I am sure its existence is the result of a violation of untold numbers of security rules. It looked how we all expected it to, but it still amazing to see something like this, knowing how secret it once was, and even now is supposed to be."

Brown gave AHF two terrific interviews on his Manhattan Project experience. You can watch the interviews on our "Voices of the Manhattan Project" website here. He said, "I do think that the history of the Manhattan Project is something that should not be forgotten." He did his best to be sure that his story, and the stories of other soldiers and scientists like him, would be remembered.

For more about Brown and his many accomplishments, read his obituary in the Washington Post.
MPVeteransRemembering Manhattan Project Veterans
Members of the SED at Los Alamos
Every November 11th, America celebrates the service and sacrifice of the millions of veterans who have defended the country throughout its history. While the Manhattan Project is typically remembered for its more famous scientists and military leaders, the creation and delivery of the atomic bomb would not have been possible without the work of thousands of enlisted soldiers and airmen.

Led by Brigadier General Leslie R. Groves, the United States Army Corps of Engineers directed the top-secret effort to build the world's first atomic bomb. To fulfill this mission, the Army Corps of Engineers created the Special Engineering Detachment (SED), which supplied critical technical support for the senior scientists and engineers at Los Alamos, Oak Ridge and Tinian Island. In addition, the Army Air Forces formed the 509th Composite Group to deploy the atomic bombs, working at Wendover Airfield in Utah and Tinian Island before delivering the bombs over Japan. 

Although most of those who worked in the military on the Manhattan Project were thousands of miles from the front lines, they made a major impact on the outcome of the war. For the full article commemorating the military veterans who worked on the Manhattan Project, please click here.
ProductsAHF Online Store


Looking for holiday gifts for the history lover in your family? Check out our online store, where we sell a wide variety of publications and items on the Manhattan Project. Our products include colorful posters (above) and notecards featuring Manhattan Project sites; documentary films on the Manhattan Project sites and leaders; guidebooks on the Manhattan Project in New Mexico, Tennessee, Washington, and New York; and an A-bomb hat. We even gift-wrap upon request!

If you are ordering on Amazon this holiday season, please consider using Amazon Smile and selecting the Atomic Heritage Foundation as your charity. AmazonSmile donates .5% of your order to your charity. Just use this link to select AHF as your charity, and use AmazonSmile when you order. Thank you! 
BombRaceThe Race for the Bomb
Werner Heisenberg
In a fascinating article, historian Dr. Alex Wellerstein explores When did the Allies know there wasn't a German bomb?

By the end of 1942, the Germans had decided that a bomb project was unlikely to succeed. They continued to conduct research, but never organized the program into a large industrial one like the Manhattan Project. But with Nobel Prize winner Werner Heisenberg working for the Nazis, Manhattan Project scientists and leaders continued to fear that Germany would succeed in building an atomic bomb. General Groves ordered a counterintelligence operation, the Alsos Mission, to determine how far the Germans had progressed in developing the bomb.

By November 1944, Samuel Goudsmit, head of the Alsos Mission, had determined that "Germany had no atom bomb and was not likely to have one in a reasonable time." The final confirmation that Germany never came close to building a bomb came when the Alsos Mission captured the Nazis' nuclear sites and scientists at the end of the war.

US soldiers examine the German experimental pile
As Wellerstein explains, "The degree to which the goals of the atomic bomb program shifted - from building a deterrent to building a first-strike weapon - is something often lost in many historical descriptions of the work. It makes the early enthusiasm and later opposition of some of the scientists (such as Leo Szilard) seem like a change of heart, when in reality it was the goals of the project that had shifted. It is, in part, a narrative about the shifting of perspective from Germany to Japan. Like the Allied knowledge of the German program, it was not an abrupt shift, but a gradual one."

During the war, the Allies actively tried to disrupt Germany's nuclear program. In this riveting account, Joachim Ronneberg recalls being part of the mission that blew up the Norsk Hydro plant, which supplied heavy water to Germany. The New York Times explains that "Mr. Ronneberg's raid slowed the Nazi's pursuit of a bomb rather than delivering a knockout blow," but it contributed to the Allies' increasing confidence that Germany would fail in its bomb program.
ManhattanTV"Manhattan" TV Show
Daniel London as Oppenheimer
We are continuing to live-tweet and recap "Manhattan" on WGN America. From the criticality experiments "tickling the dragon's tail" to Vannevar Bush to the Szilard petition, the show has drawn on history to tell the dramatic tale of the Manhattan Project.

For our recaps, please click here. Follow us on Twitter at @AtomicHeritage every Tuesday at 9 PM as we live-tweet the show!
Voices"Voices of the Manhattan Project"
Here are some recent additions to our Voices of the Manhattan Project website

Hans Bethe was a German-American physicist and Nobel Prize winner who was head of the Theoretical Division at Los Alamos. He played an important role in the development of the hydrogen fusion bomb. In this interview, Bethe discusses the decision to develop the H-bomb in a starkly different context compared to the A-bomb. He recalls the debate over MIRVs or multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles, the rise of the nuclear race, and missed opportunities to promote nuclear nonproliferation, including Bernard Baruch's plan and the Cuban Missile Crisis.


Dorothy McKibbin was known as the "Gatekeeper to Los Alamos." Everyone who worked on the Manhattan Project at the site had to pass through her office at 109 East Palace in Santa Fe. McKibbin discusses what happened to the scientists after the project, and details some of the stringent security procedures at Los Alamos. She characterizes Oppenheimer as a charismatic and kind leader who was beloved by the community. McKibbin believed that Oppenheimer was unjustly treated during his security hearing. Many of those who worked with Oppenheimer supported him, and some even tried to intervene during his hearing, to no avail.

Robert Lamphere, Part 2 - FBI agent Robert Lamphere supervised investigations of Soviet atomic spies during the early years of the Cold War, including David Greenglass, Harry Gold, and the Rosenbergs. He also interrogated Klaus Fuchs in London in 1950. In this interview, Lamphere explores the Soviet espionage network in the U.S. and the roles of the various spies. He also shares his thoughts on J. Robert Oppenheimer's security hearing, and recalls his collaboration with cryptanalyst Meredith Gardner to break the Soviet code.

Ted Taylor, Part 2 - From 1948-1956, Ted Taylor worked at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, developing fission bombs of minimal size and maximal capacity. Later in life, while working for the Defense Department, Taylor began to realize the real-world implications and consequences of the bombs he developed. He discusses the team feeling of developing the H-bomb after the war and during the Cold War arms race, and the role of people he terms "weaponeers" had in driving the development of the H-bomb. Taylor then turns his attention to discussing how his mindset changed in the 1960s and why he began to support the total abolition of atomic weapons. He explains why he thinks nuclear weapons should be globally outlawed, much like chemical and biological weapons.
Thanks to all the Manhattan Project veterans, their families and many others who have supported our efforts over the past 13 years. We are very pleased to see the creation of the new park. Please keep in touch and consider making a donation to support our continued efforts. Thank you!

Sincerely, 
sig
President
Atomic Heritage Foundation 
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