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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

Manhattan Project Sites

On Friday, 12 December 2014, President Obama signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which contains a provision that creates the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. Since 2011, the National Trust alongside our partners have worked diligently to advocate for the preservation of these significant sites and ensure that they are protected for generations to come. Today, we celebrate this win and applaud Congress for creating one of only a few national parks that recognize American science and technology.

Establish the Manhattan Project National Historical Park.


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 January 06, 2015

Excerpted from Los Angeles Times:

Want to take a long road trip halfway across the country to see where the atomic bomb was born? It doesn't sound like the makings for a typical summer getaway, but the newly created Manhattan Project National Historic Park may change all that. The park, designated as part of a bigger defense measure signed by President Obama this month, is to include three far-apart U.S. government lab sites in Hanford, Wash.; Los Alamos, N.M.; and Oak Ridge, Tenn. "Each of the Manhattan Project sites and structures add an important piece to the multifaceted story of thousands of people working across the country at incredible speed to develop and detonate an atomic bomb in secrecy," says an online story by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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