Discover / Manhattan Project Historic Sites
Save a National Treasure
REGION: West
LOCATION:
Washington, New Mexico, Tennessee,
TYPE: Building
The electrical substation at Hanford, WA, a Manhattan Project site. | Photo: National Trust
The electrical substation at Hanford, WA, a Manhattan Project site. | Photo: National Trust
Opportunity
Establish the Manhattan Project National Historical Park.

Overview

The Manhattan Project marked one of the most transformative events in world history: the development of the atomic bombs that ended World War II and set the stage for the Cold War. While the initiative’s early focus was weapons based, additional applications for nuclear energy were later developed, leading to advances in the newly-emergent fields of chemotherapy, high-speed computer technology, genomics, and bioengineering.

National Significance

The Manhattan Project’s three primary sites – Los Alamos, NM; Hanford, WA; and Oak Ridge, TN – speak eloquently to the project’s enormous scale and the frantic, round-the-clock effort required to create an atomic weapon ahead of the enemy. These three locations were central to the mission of the Manhattan Project, and have been selected by the National Park Service as historic sites that would comprise the proposed Manhattan Project National Historical Park.

Campaign Goals

  • Partner with the Department of Energy and local officials to establish the Manhattan Project National Historical Park.

Ways To Help

Tell your Senators today to support S. 507 to create the Manhattan Project National Historical Park.

Donate to our campaign to protect Manhattan Project sites.

Tell us why Manhattan Project sites matter to you.

Posted on December 18, 2014

Excerpted from the New York Times:

National parks have been set up for mountains, rivers, caves, rock formations, glaciers, forests, canyons, fossils, deserts, hot springs and volcanoes. Now, lawmakers have decided that the nation needs one for the atom bomb. On Friday, the Senate joined the House in passing legislation to establish the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, memorializing the secretive World War II effort that involved some of the world’s top scientists and, in total, more than a half million Americans.

Learn more about Manhattan Project Historic Sites >>

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Posted on December 08, 2014

By Nancy Tinker

Great News!! On December 4th, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) which includes a provision to establish the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. Passing by a vote of 300 – 119, this legislation will create a three-unit national park with individual units established at Los Alamos, NM; Hanford, WA; and Oak Ridge, TN. We anticipate legislation will move swiftly, with the Senate expected to pass this bill without amendments before adjourning for the Christmas recess. Passage could occur as early as next week.

Establishment of this national park will ensure the protection of Manhattan Project sites for the American public and future generations. These resources include Hanford’s first-of-its-kind B Reactor, Oak Ridge, Tennessee’s Y-12 calutron plant, and Los Alamos, New Mexico’s laboratories where the first atomic weapons were assembled. Richard Rhodes, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Making of the Atomic Bomb explains, “When I write about history, it is essential for me to visit the places where the historical events happened. There are always surprises. It is one thing to a read document or interview people; but it is another thing to see the places where history happened."

The Manhattan Project National Historical Park will become one of the nation’s few parks to focus on American industry and to highlight the work of physicists, chemists, engineers, mathematicians and other scientists. The park could become a catalyst for teaching science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and increasing understanding of the nexus connecting science and society. Creation of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park has been many years in the making and creates opportunity for current and future generations to better understand this indisputable turning point in world history.

Please check back often for additional updates on Manhattan Project Historic Sites.  Also, donate today to support the National Trust's ongoing work at this National Treasure.

Posted on December 05, 2014

Excerpted from the Chattanoogan:

The House of Representatives on Thursday passed the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act, which included a provision to establish a Manhattan Project National Historical Park at Los Alamos, N.M.; Hanford, Wa. and Oak Ridge, Tenn., by a vote of 300-119. The Senate is expected to pass the 2015 NDAA legislation without amendments before adjourning for the Christmas recess, perhaps as early as next week. For over a decade the Atomic Heritage Foundation has led efforts to establish the park in partnership with the Manhattan Project communities, National Parks Conservation Association, National Trust for Historic Preservation, and Energy Communities Alliance. The House passage today is an important milestone, said officials.

More about Manhattan Project Historic Sites >>

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Posted on October 21, 2014

By Nancy Tinker, Project Manager

Knox Heritage and the East Tennessee Preservation Alliance are proud to announce the Alexander Inn Gala Preservation Celebration, an event scheduled for Oak Ridge, Tennessee on the evening of November 7th. Be the first to experience the newly restored and renovated historic Alexander Inn and celebrate this significant preservation achievement for East Tennessee and the nation. Step back in time and enjoy a 1950s era cocktail party while revisiting the Inn’s storied past and discovering its exciting new place as part of the future of Oak Ridge.

This special event will celebrate a multi-million dollar, year-long rehabilitation effort, with new ownership converting the former hotel to use as an assisted living facility. Constructed for World War II’s Manhattan Project, the Alexander Inn originally housed Manhattan Project scientists and military leaders. Manhattan Project guests included General Leslie Groves, Secretary of War Henry Stimson, and physicists J. Robert Oppenheimer and Enrico Fermi.

The successful rehabilitation of the Alexander Inn is an excellent example of how several entities can work together to save historic properties. This initiative involved a complex combination of assistance from the East Tennessee Preservation Alliance, the Tennessee Historical Commission, the implementation of federal historic tax credits, and participation of the Department of Energy and the Oak Ridge Industrial Development Board.

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Bev on October 15, 2014
My father worked at the MetLab and rest of his career at ORNL. It was established that he died of the kind of lung cancer caused by contact with radioactive materials, so he literally gave his life to the Manhattan project without being drafted to fight in the military.
Ray Smith, Oak Ridge, Tenn. on August 02, 2012
It’s hard to imagine an entire city [Oak Ridge] existing in secret. 60,000 acres set aside for one, top-secret purpose. A discovery so huge it could end a World War. It’s hard to imagine – but it’s true.

Campaign Overview

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Now that the House of Representatives has passed the Manhattan Project National Historical Park Act, your Senators need to hear from you today to pass this bill to save these authentic sites for future generations. Time is running out on the 113th Session of Congress!

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