Discover / Manhattan Project Historic Sites
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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.

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 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.

Learn more about Manhattan Project Historic Sites >>

Read the full story >>

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 >>

Read the fully story >>

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 >>

Read the full story >>

 

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.

Posted on July 25, 2014

By Nancy Tinker

On Sunday evening, July 27, WGN will premiere a new television series, “Manhattan,” a beautifully executed period drama which brings 1940s’ Los Alamos, New Mexico, to vivid life. Tautly written and beautifully filmed, the story revolves around the top-secret Manhattan Project and the lives of Los Alamos’ (fictionalized) scientists and the family members accompanying them to New Mexico’s desert.

Written by Sam Shaw, of “Masters of Sex” fame, and Thomas Schlamme, director of “West Wing,” the 13-episode “Manhattan” series is a story which is at once provocative and engaging. This is the story of a world at war, the race to develop the first atomic weapon, and the moral implications confronting project scientists.

"Manhattan" premieres Sunday evening, July 27, at 9:00 pm ET. For additional information, follow this link: http://wgnamerica.com/shows/manhattan

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 July 08, 2014
Photo Credit: Great Beyond (via flickr)
Photo Credit: Great Beyond (via flickr)

Jessica Pumphrey Written by Jessica Pumphrey, Team Member

Last Friday, the Seattle Times published an opinion piece by poet and former Hanford engineer, Kathleen Flenniken, which spoke to the importance of preserving the three Manhattan Project sites.  In the piece, Kathleen shares her experience living just outside of the Hanford community and growing up in a place where two-thirds of the nation’s nuclear arsenal was manufactured in secret.

You can read more of Kathleen’s article here.

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 June 23, 2014

The Department of Energy, Oak Ridge Reservation has posted a video which relays the construction and the history of the K-25 Site.



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

Posted on January 07, 2014

On June 14th, the House of Representatives voted to include the Manhattan Project National Historical Park as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). In late November, a coalition of senators led by Maria Cantwell and Patty Murray proposed including Manhattan Project legislation in the Senate’s version of the bill. Considered “must pass” legislation, the Senate found itself confronted with addressing a total of 507 separate amendments which were proposed for inclusion in NDAA. Majority Leader Harry Reid had hoped decisions on defense authorization would be completed by the Thanksgiving holiday, but the process was greatly slowed by changes in Filibuster Rules.

On December 9th, the Senate passed the defense bill, but without the provisions necessary to include the Manhattan Project. With four working days remaining in the session, Congressional leaders “ping-ponged” defense authorization between the chambers, uniting in a desire to have legislation reach President Obama’s desk before year’s end.

It was “disappointing” to see the measure fail, but it was the closest the legislative effort has ever come to becoming law, said Heather McClenahan, executive director of the Los Alamos Historical Society. McClenahan noted that there is bicameral, bipartisan support for the park, and that Representative Doc Hastings (R-WA), who chairs the House Natural Resources Committee, has said he will attach legislation to 2014’s defense bill.

Posted on July 26, 2013

On July 25th, during a Senate Energy and Natural Reources Committe hearing, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell requested immediate action be taken to create the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis attended the hearing. When asked if Congress, due to the current economic climate, should halt the establishment of new national parks, Jarvis replied, " My theory on new units is that history doesn't stop just because you have an economic challenge. The National Park Service has been challenged and charged by this body for almost 100 years to take care of not only the extraordinary - the crown jewels such as the Grand Canyon and Yosemite - but also historical sites that are representative of the full American experience. And that story is incomplete." Additional information is provided below:

Today during a Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing, U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) called for immediate action to preserve Hanford’s B Reactor as part of a new Manhattan Project National Historical Park. Cantwell said that a backlog in National Park Service maintenance should not stop the creation of a new park at Hanford. Cantwell sponsored the bipartisan Manhattan Project National Historical Park Act (S. 507) that would preserve Hanford’s B Reactor as part of a new National Historical Park. The bipartisan legislation is led by Cantwell and ENR Committee member Lamar Alexander (R-TN). Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Tom Udall (D-NM) are original cosponsors of the bill, along with ENR Committee member Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM).

 During today’s hearing, Cantwell also noted how National Parks can attract tourism and support economic development. The Tri-Cities Visitor and Convention Bureau estimates that B Reactor tourism will bring more than $1 million to the local economy in direct visitor spending annually. “Do I think we should stop creating national parks because of what somebody thinks about the maintenance backlog? No,” said Cantwell during the hearing. “I want to commemorate what happened at Hanford and various parts of what we’ve done across the country. I certainly am not going to have the attitude that we’re not going to do any new park until the maintenance backlog is caught up.”

In response to a question from Cantwell about preserving the B Reactor, National Parks Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said: “My theory on new units is that history doesn’t stop just because you have an economic challenge. The National Park Service has been challenged and charged by this body for almost 100 years to take care of not only the extraordinary -- the crown jewels such as the Grand Canyon and the Grand Tetons, and Yosemite -- but also historical sites that are representative of the full American experience. And that story is incomplete,” Jarvis continued. “The B Reactor is a perfect example of that, in that it tells an incredibly important story about this country and its leadership and the development of the atomic bomb and its role in ending World War II.”

The S. 507 bill would create a National Historical Park at Manhattan Project-related sites at Hanford as well as Oak Ridge, Tenn., and Los Alamos, N.M. The Hanford sites that would be included in the new park include the historic B Reactor, the first full-scale nuclear reactor ever built. A National Historical Park designation would give Hanford sites the same status as Independence Hall, Valley Forge and Abraham Lincoln’s birthplace. Congressman Doc Hastings (R-WA-04), Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, oversees the committee of jurisdiction on the House side and has introduced similar legislation (H.R. 1208).

“Mr. Chairman, I also want to thank Senator Cantwell for bringing up the Manhattan proposed park,” said Senator Heinrich at today’s hearing. “I think that’s something that I heard consistently from the community of Los Alamos and the surrounding communities, how important that is to their history. I think Director Jarvis will find a very willing partner in those communities to make sure that we do a good job of stewarding that resource and making sure the Park Services has the resources they need and the support they in the community to create that new park unit.”

Cantwell introduced the Manhattan Project National Historical Park Act earlier this year with Senators Alexander (R-TN), Heinrich (D-NM), Murray (D-WA) and Udall (D-NM). The bill would create a National Historical Park at Manhattan Project-related sites such as Hanford’s B Reactor as well as Oak Ridge, Tenn., and Los Alamos, N.M. A National Historical Park designation would give Hanford sites the same status as Independence Hall, Valley Forge and Abraham Lincoln’s birthplace. The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources approved the legislation by voice vote on May 16. It is now ready for consideration by the full Senate. On June 14, the House approved amendments authored by Congressman Doc Hastings (R-WA-04) to establish a Manhattan Project National Historical Park.

Since 2003, Cantwell, Patty Murray (D-WA) and Hastings have advocated for the historic preservation of Hanford’s B Reactor. In 2004, they championed legislation into law directing the National Park Service to conduct a study on the potential for developing and utilizing the B Reactor and other Manhattan Project facilities as historical sites. That study, finalized in 2011, laid the groundwork for today’s effort to preserve the B Reactor.

 Highlights from today’s hearing follows.

Senator Maria Cantwell: My colleague Senator Alexander and I have been sponsors of the creation of a new park for the B Reactor. It’s celebrating scientific excellence that our country achieved and preserving that between the Department of Energy and the department. Do I think we should stop creating national parks because what somebody thinks about the maintenance backlog? No. I want to commemorate what happened at Hanford and various parts of what we’ve done across the country. I certainly am not going to have the attitude that we’re not going to do any new park until the maintenance backlog is caught up. And so I guess I just believe our generation’s challenge is to be good stewards. These are our decisions forever and ever. These are our decisions to be good stewards for the next generation.  So I would hope you comment on: (1) the continuation of the B Reactor Park, and (2) the economic impact that we are seeing from sequestration on our national parks and what else we can do to help our colleagues illuminate that it really will impact jobs and impact small-town economies across our country.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.

Honorable Jonathan B. Jarvis: My theory on new units is that history doesn’t stop just because you have an economic challenge. The National Park Service has been challenged and charged by this body for almost 100 years to take care of not only the extraordinary the crown jewels such as the Grand Canyon and the Grand Tetons, and Yosemite, but also historical sites that are representative of the full American experience. And that story is incomplete. The B Reactor is a perfect example of that, in that it tells an incredibly important story about this country and its leadership and the development of the atomic bomb and its role in ending World War II. It is the same thing with Harriet Tubman or the story of Fort Monroe in Virginia. Now, what’s different about these new sites is that the National Park Service goes into it knowing we have extraordinary economic challenges, so we look for partners. And certainly with the B Reactor, we have the Department of Energy, we have the communities and others to work with us. We go in and attempt to minimize the direct responsibilities of the National Park Service that would add to our maintenance backlog, but recognize we also want to be a part of the stories that tell the American experience.

 Cantwell: Mr. Sherman, my time is expired, but I want to point out last time I visited Grand Teton I was so surprised walking down the street how little English I heard being spoken. We think of these as our crown jewels, but this is an international tourist area that supposedly generates $436 million of benefit to the local economy. So these are huge economic resources. I hope that we will track as a committee these gateway communities, the local economic impact of what sequestration is doing. I think we have to be very smart about living within our means but as you pointed out sequestration’s impact is across the board, and not giving you the flexibility to do something that might have less impact on those local communities. I thank the Chairman. I thank Director Jarvis.

Senator Ron Wyden: I would also note, by way of doing a little advertising as well, that Senator Cantwell’s bill on the B Reactor is right now part of the hotline underway. Senator Cantwell’s bill, and Chairman Doc Hastings, and Senator Alexander, and Senator Heinrich, so urge all colleagues on both sides of the aisle to clear this very fine piece of legislation.

 Senator Martin Heinrich:  Mr. Chairman, I also want to thank Senator Cantwell for bringing up the Manhattan proposed park. I think that’s something that I heard consistently from the community of Los Alamos and the surrounding communities, how important that is to their history. I think Director Jarvis will find a very willing partner in those communities to make sure that we do a good job of stewarding that resource and making sure the Park Services has the resources they need and the support they in the community to create that new park unit. I want to thank Senator Cantwell for bringing up the issue of just how important these recreation jobs are. In New Mexico it is not inconsequential to have 68,000 jobs tied directly to outdoor recreation, and certainly the impact of Carlsbad Caverns National Park, Petroglyph National Monument in Albuquerque. Places like Bandelier, next to Bandelier National Monument next to Los Alamos, these are major draws to people across the country and around the world that come to New Mexico and drive our local economy.

 

Posted on July 19, 2013

In the past several weeks the Manhattan Project National Historical Park Act has advanced through Congress. For further information, click on the link below:

http://oakridgetoday.com/2013/07/15/progress-on-the-manhattan-project-national-historical-park-act/

Posted on June 17, 2013

Great news! On Friday, June 14th the House of Representatives took a decisive step towards creating the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. Late on Friday afternoon the US House of Representatives passed the National Defense Authorization Act, legislation which contained the Manhattan Project National Historical Park Act (HR 1208) as an amendment. Legislation has strong bipartisan and bicameral support. In the House HR 1208 is supported by Doc Hastings, Ben Ray Lujan and Chuck Fleischamann. Senators Maria Cantwell, Lamar Alexander, Martin Heinrich, Tom Udall, and Patty Murray serve as co-sponsors in the Senate. Advocates are presently working with key Senate leadership to understand if the Senate will permit this bill to move forward in the Senate as part of Defense Authorization. 

Posted on June 07, 2013

Prepared by Project Manager Nancy Tinker

The beginning of the end of war lies in remembrance. Herman Wouk

On Friday morning, June 7, 2013, the Los Angeles Times published an Op-ed supporting creation of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. Prepared by National Trust president Stephanie Meeks, the article frankly acknowledges the Manhattan Project’s complex legacy and the need for establishing a place of reflection.  Creation of the national park would “underscore the great responsibilities that come with great scientific achievement,” enabling citizens “to navigate the complex moral terrain of our own era’s technological advances.”  

Follow this link to fully access the article:  http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-meeks-manhattan-project-20130607,0,1479750.story

Take action now by asking Congress to establish the Manhattan Project National Historical Park: https://secure2.convio.net/nthp/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=761

Posted on May 29, 2013

Written by Nancy Tinker, Project Manager

 

On May 16, 2013, the US Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources approved S 507, legislation creating the Manhattan Project National Historical Park (MPNHP). Introduced by Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Patty Murray (D-WA), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Tom Udall (D-NM), and Martin Heinrich (D-NM), the bill tracks HR 1208, companion legislation introduced in the House of Representatives by Congressman Doc Hastings (R-WA), Chuck Fleishman (R-TN), and Ben Ray Lujan (D-NM). Packaged with 29 other public lands bills, S 507 and the majority of its companions were approved by voice vote. S 507 and HR 1208 are now poised for votes in their respective chambers.

During the May 16th hearing, Senator Murray expressed support for S 507 but requested the bill be amended with language stipulating that sites recommended by the Secretary of the Interior for inclusion in the park could be integrated only with the concurrence of the Secretary of Energy. We are hearing mark-up could occur in the Senate as early as late June.  In response to these developments, NTHP staff is working closely with Senator Maria Cantwell’s office. We are also attempting to understand the level of support among those members of Congress who traditionally support NPS legislation to ensure their continued support for creation of the national historical park.

Posted on May 29, 2013

Prepared by Nancy Tinker, Project Manager

On May 7, 2013, the East Tennessee Preservation Alliance (ETPA) announced the purchase of Oak Ridge, Tennessee’s Alexander Inn by Family Pride Corporation, a regionally prominent company who will rehabilitate the former Inn as an assisted living facility.  The transaction includes a preservation easement which ensures the property will be protected in perpetuity.  

Known originally as The Guest House, and constructed in 1943 as lodging for Manhattan Project dignitaries, guests on any given night could include Enrico Fermi, Robert Oppenheimer, or General Leslie Groves. The hotel operated continuously through the mid-1990s when the facility was closed initiating an era of sparse maintenance and sharp building decline.  In recognition of its significant role in the Manhattan Project, the Guest House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1993.

Concern for the building’s deteriorated state led ETPA to list the Guest House in its 2010 East Tennessee Endangered Heritage program. Working collaboratively with the City of Oak Ridge, the Department of Energy, Knox Heritage, and the Oak Ridge Heritage and Preservation Association (ORHPA), ETPA sought a buyer who would rehabilitate the site for public use while retaining the architectural characteristics central to its Manhattan Project role.

Family Pride, recognized throughout the region as a company dedicated to quality rehabilitation, has successfully rehabilitated projects in Loudon, Lenoir City, and Knoxville, Tennessee. Rick Dover, Family Pride Corporation Manager states, “The Guest House is a significant building in the story of our country and occupies an important place, both physically and historically, in Oak Ridge. Family Pride Corporation is both pleased and proud to partner with ETPA, Knox Heritage, and the people of Oak Ridge to save this fragile remaining piece of Oak Ridge’s history.” Initial stabilization will begin in the next few weeks with a formal groundbreaking ceremony scheduled in the upcoming months.

Posted on April 24, 2013

Prepared by Nancy Tinker, Project Manager

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House Natural Resources Committee approved by unanimous consent H.R. 1208, a bipartisan bill introduced by Natural Resources Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04), Congressman Chuck Fleischmann (TN-03) and Congressman Ben Lujan (NM-03) to establish a Manhattan Project National Historical Park that will include facilities at Hanford, Washington, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and Los Alamos, New Mexico.  The Manhattan Project was an unprecedented top-secret program to produce an atomic bomb before Nazi Germany.  The action by the Committee makes the bill eligible for consideration by the full House. 

“Today the Manhattan Project National Historic Park is one step closer to becoming a reality.  This has been a long process and I’m grateful to the community leaders and advocates who have worked tirelessly on its behalf.  I’m committed to bringing the bill to the House floor this Congress and working with the Senate to get it signed into law.  These facilities have an important, interesting, and historic story to tell and this bill would ensure that their doors remain open to visitors for years to come,” said Committee Chairman Hastings.   

Under the bill, the Manhattan Project National Historical Park would be established as a unit of the National Park System within one year.  The bill specifies the facilities and areas at each of the three locations that are eligible for inclusion in the Park.  Nearly all of these facilities and areas are already owned by the federal government and under the purview of the Department of Energy.  The legislation requires coordination, planning and cooperation between the Park Service and the Department of Energy to ensure safe and secure access to these locations. 

The establishment of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park is supported by the Department of the Interior, Department of Energy, and the National Park Service. Similar legislation, S. 507 has been introduced in the Senate by Senator Maria Cantwell (WA) with Senators Lamar Alexander (TN), Martin Heinrich (NM), Patty Murray (WA) and Tom Udall (NM) cosponsoring the legislation.

Posted on April 24, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House Natural Resources Committee approved by unanimous consent H.R. 1208, a bipartisan bill introduced by Natural Resources Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04), Congressman Chuck Fleischmann (TN-03) and Congressman Ben Lujan (NM-03) to establish a Manhattan Project National Historical Park that will include facilities at Hanford, Washington, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and Los Alamos, New Mexico.  The Manhattan Project was an unprecedented top-secret program to produce an atomic bomb before Nazi Germany.  The action by the Committee makes the bill eligible for consideration by the full House. 

“Today the Manhattan Project National Historic Park is one step closer to becoming a reality.  This has been a long process and I’m grateful to the community leaders and advocates who have worked tirelessly on its behalf.  I’m committed to bringing the bill to the House floor this Congress and working with the Senate to get it signed into law.  These facilities have an important, interesting, and historic story to tell and this bill would ensure that their doors remain open to visitors for years to come,” said Committee Chairman Hastings.   

Under the bill, the Manhattan Project National Historical Park would be established as a unit of the National Park System within one year.  The bill specifies the facilities and areas at each of the three locations that are eligible for inclusion in the Park.  Nearly all of these facilities and areas are already owned by the federal government and under the purview of the Department of Energy.  The legislation requires coordination, planning and cooperation between the Park Service and the Department of Energy to ensure safe and secure access to these locations. 

The establishment of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park is supported by the Department of the Interior, Department of Energy, and the National Park Service. 

Similar legislation, S. 507 has been introduced in the Senate by Senator Maria Cantwell (WA) with Senators Lamar Alexander (TN), Martin Heinrich (NM), Patty Murray (WA) and Tom Udall (NM) cosponsoring the legislation.

Posted on April 19, 2013

Learn more about the Manhattan Project, a top-secret government operation during World War II, by touring a street named Bathtub Row in Los Alamos, NM.  As a part of the Manhattan Project's three primary sites in Hanford, Wash.; Oak Ridge, Tenn.; and Los Alamos, N.M. - Bathtub Row is sure to be an educational adventure.

Posted on April 12, 2013

Written by Nancy Tinker, Project Manager

Today, the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation held a legislative hearing on H.R. 1208, the "Manhattan Project National Historical Park Act" - bipartisan legislation by Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (WA-04), Congressman Chuck Fleischmann (TN-03), and Congressman Ben Luján (NM-03) that would establish a Manhattan Project National Historical Park and include facilities in Hanford, Washington, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and Los Alamos, New Mexico.

"The Representatives and Senators of both parties who are working together on this legislation are very committed to advancing this historical park into law - though even our passion for establishing the park is exceeded by that of the volunteers and local leaders in the three Manhattan Project communities and others across the nation. We were fortunate to have a representative from each of the three communities testify at last year's hearing, and we are fortunate to have similar representation today," said Chairman Hastings. "There are many historical, economic and tourism development organizations in each of the communities that have helped lead the way in preserving this piece of our nation's history. They are doing a tremendous job communicating the important role this park can play in telling the story of efforts during the Second World War to accomplish an unprecedented, and many thought, impossible, industrial and scientific achievement - to construct a nuclear weapon and counter threats of similar development by Nazi Germany." Follow this link to access further coverage on today's legislative hearing:

http://naturalresources.house.gov/news/documentsingle.aspx?DocumentID=328721

Posted on April 10, 2013

Written by Nancy Tinker, Project Manager

The House Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation has announced it will conduct a hearing regarding HR 1208, legislation which proposes to create the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. Legislation is sponsored by Natural Resources Committee Chairman Doc Hastings (R-WA), Congressman Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN), and Congressman Ben Lujan (D-NM). The hearing will begin at 10:00 am on Friday, April 12, 2013 and will be conducted in Hearing Room 1324 of the Longworth House Office Building. The meeting is open to the pubic with a live video stream broadcast at: http://naturalresources.house.gov/live.

Today, April 10, 2013, Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) announced the Subcommittee on National Parks will consider S. 507, legislation originating in the Senate which proposes the establishment of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. The hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, April 23, 2013 at 2:30 pm. With hearings scheduled in both the House and the Senate, I'll be making frequent updates to this page. I hope you'll return here often for further information. 

 

Posted on April 02, 2013

Written by Nancy Tinker, Project Manager

On February 14 – 15, 2013, the Atomic Heritage Foundation conducted a two-day symposium focused on the legacy of the top-secret Manhattan Project. Entitled, “Transforming the Relationship between Science and Society: Interpreting the Manhattan Project” the symposium explored the moral complexities and multi-faceted stories associated with this era in American history. Speakers included Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Rhodes, retired Nuclear Regulatory Commission historian J. Samuel Walker, and Federation of American Scientists president Charles Fergus.  Follow this link to access symposium discussion:

 

Posted on April 02, 2013

Written by Nancy Tinker, Project Manager

In her new book, The Girls of Atomic City, author Denise Kiernan recounts the stories of women who, from 1942 – 45, helped to form the workforce for the top-secret Manhattan Project. Based upon hundreds of interviews, this account relays the true and compelling story of women working in the secret city of Oak Ridge, Tennessee.  While Kiernan’s story focuses primarily upon the experiences of working women, her research also delves into the topics of discrimination, hardship, and mental stress. Follow this link to access an interview PBS Newshour's Ray Suarez conducted with Kiernan on March 28th: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/entertainment/jan-june13/atomiccity_03-26.html

 

Posted on March 13, 2013

Written by Nancy Tinker, Project Manager

On March 7, 2013 Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) introduced Senate Bill 507 to establish the Manhattan Project National Historical Park in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, Los Alamos, New Mexico and Hanford Washington. Senators Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Patty Murray (D-WA) and Tom Udall (D-NM) are original cosponsors of the bipartisan Manhattan Project National Historical Park Act.  In introducing this legislation, Senator Alexander stated, “As Americans, we have a special obligation to preserve and protect our heritage, and the Manhattan Project National Historical Park will ensure that all Americans learn about the significance of the Manhattan Project and how it continues to shape our history.” In order for the park to become reality, the bill must first pass the Energy and Natural Resources Committee before going to the full Senate for a vote.  Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR), Chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee expressed support for this legislation on February 19th while on a fact-finding visit to Hanford. Congressman Doc Hastings (R-WA), Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, has introduced legislation in the past.

In responding to Senator Alexander and Cantwell’s announcement, Stephanie Meeks, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation released the following statement:

“We applaud the Senators for their support of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, and thank the National Park Service and the Department of Energy for their unparalleled collaboration. The purpose of a Manhattan Project National Historical Park is to educate the public and interpret what many historians consider to be the single most significant event of the 20th century, the development of the atomic bomb.

The Manhattan Project’s multifaceted story embraces aspects of our nation’s scientific, military, and cultural history, and represents a significant chapter in our nation’s history. Establishment of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park will provide an opportunity for present and future generations to understand the profound ways in which the Manhattan Project changed the world.”

Posted on March 05, 2013

Written by Nancy Tinker, Project Manager

On Tuesday, February 19th, Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) toured Hanford, Washington's B Reactor. As chairman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resouces Committee he pledged support for creation of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park and to partnering with Congressman Doc Hastings (R-WA) in achieving this goal. At the tour's conclusion Wyden stated, "There is an old saying that those who cannot remember the past are doomed to repeat it." Follow the link below to understand more:

www.tri-cityherald.com/2013/02/20/2281865/wyden-backs-manhattan-project.html

Posted on December 18, 2012

Written by Nancy Tinker, Project Manager

On Sunday, December 16, 2012 The Seattle Times published an Op/Ed written by Clarence Moriwaki, a Japanese American whose family was directly affected by the American bombing of Hiroshima. Mr. Moriwaki writes, "the Manhattan Project is an important chapter of American history, and I believe we should recount all parts of our heritage, even the painful moments. We cannot rewrite history - nor should we cast blame, guilt or shame. But we cannot sweep historic events under the rug either." Moriwaki extolls the work of the National Park Service in interpreting the Japanese American experience at Manzanar and Minidoka, "relocation centers" which housed thousands of Japanese Americans during World War II.  He concludes by quoting the maxim of the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial, "Nidoto nai yoni" - "Let it not happen again."  To read more:

http://seattletimes.com/html/opinion/2019906786_clarencemoriwakiopedxml.html

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 07, 2012

Written by Nancy Tinker, Project Manager

On Thursday, December 6, 2012, the International Business Times published an article which raises pertinent questions surrounding the creation of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. "What do we do with our inconvenient histories," the article asks, "Do we bury them, or do we memoralize them as a way of learning and moving on?"

The article quotes Atomic Heritage Foundation president Cindy Kelly who offers, "In a broad sense, the Manhattan Project is a story of how science and technology have impacted history, economics, politics and society. Those who are schooled in the sciences, and students focusing solely on science, often overlook the impacts." Ms. Kelly continues by explaining few young people recognize the nexus threading its way from World War II's Manhattan Project through the Cold War to today.

Kelly acknowledges the fear of anti-nuclear groups that park creation would celebrate war and weaponry. She responds by stating that interpretation by the National Park Service would incorporate multiple perspectives, providing visitors a balanced view of this era in American history while addressing the questions surrounding it.

To read more, follow this link: http://www.ibtimes.com/should-manhattan-project-sites-become-national-historical-park-924679

Posted on December 06, 2012

Written by Nancy Tinker, Project Manager

On Tuesday of this week the we received outstanding media support for establishment of the national park. The first was a segment conducted by National Public Radio (NPR) which ran Tuesday, December 4th and features Los Alamos Historical Society executive director Heather McClenahan: 

http://www.npr.org/2012/12/04/166402093/manhattan-project-sites-part-of-proposed-park

The second story ran in the Tuesday, December 4th edition of the New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/12/04/science/a-national-park-proposed-to-preserve-atomic-bomb-sites.html?ref=science&_r=0

Please check back often for additional updates on Manhattan Project Historic Sites. Won't you consider making a donation today to support the National Trust's ongoing work at this National Treasure?

Posted on September 26, 2012

Written by Nancy Tinker, Project Manager

Photo by Nancy Tinker

On Thursday, September 20, the House of Representatives considered passage of HR 5987, the Manhattan Project National Historical Park Act. The bill, proposed to create a three-unit national historical park in Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Los Alamos, New Mexico; and Hanford, Washington, was brought to the House floor under “suspension of House rules,” a measure used by Congress to expedite passage of non-controversial legislation. The National Trust supported this course of action and hoped for the bill’s passage. 

Offering vigorous opposition, Representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) characterized the national park as a “celebration” of nuclear weaponry. At the conclusion of debate, the congressman called for a recorded vote, preventing the typical voice vote that accompanies bills considered under “suspension.” While HR 5987 received a bipartisan majority vote of 237–180, the bill lacked the two-thirds “super majority” that is required for passage.

Manhattan Project sites represent an unparalleled story of our nation uniting for common cause – an initiative that catalyzed advancements in physics and medicine while posing ethical questions regarding the moral responsibilities engendered by nuclear science. This is a portion of the American experience which embraces aspects of our nation’s scientific, industrial, military, economic, and cultural history, and merits inclusion in the national storybook.

We will continue to work closely with our many partners as well as Representative Doc Hastings (R-WA) and Senator Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) as they lead this effort in Congress. 

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 August 28, 2012

Written by Nancy Tinker, Project Manager

The top-secret Manhattan Project has been called “the single most significant event of the 20th century.”

Begun during World War II as a research project dedicated to developing an atomic weapon in advance of Germany, the Manhattan Project eventually included thousands of scientists who worked in laboratories located across the nation. The creation of atomic weaponry brought an end to World War II, while also altering the position of the United States in the world community and setting the stage for the Cold War. At war’s end, scientists at these laboratories continued to work on cutting-edge scientific research. It was here that additional applications for nuclear energy were developed, fostering advances in the newly emergent fields of chemotherapy, high-speed computer technology, genomics, and bioengineering.

The follow are answers to frequently asked questions we have received about our support for the creation of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park.

Why does the National Trust support creation of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park?

The National Trust is committed to preserving places that are important to our nation’s history. The properties associated with the Manhattan Project rank among the most significant historic resources of the last century. They give testimony to the overarching achievement in bringing World War II to a close and ushering in the era of nuclear energy for both military and civilian purposes. We believe the creation of a new national park will commemorate and interpret these facilities, allowing visitors to draw their own conclusions about the ways in which the Manhattan Project changed the world. The National Trust believes this history is one that, from the perspective of all who participated and all who were affected, must be told.

Will the Manhattan Project National Historical Park celebrate the creation of atomic weaponry?

Congress intends the Manhattan Project National Historical Park will be a place of commemoration. Anyone visiting the national parks located at Little Rock Central High School, Little Bighorn, or Andersonville recognizes that these are not places of celebration. In these instances, the National Park Service’s mission is to preserve and objectively interpret complex and contentious history, thereby allowing current and future Americans an opportunity for deeper understanding of historic events. In interpreting this history, the National Trust fully expects the National Park Service to pursue an unbiased professional approach, giving full expression to the diversity of opinion that shaped this history.

Who initiated creation of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park?

On October 18, 2004, President George W. Bush approved the Manhattan Project National Historical Park Study Act. The act directed the Secretary of the Department of the Interior, in consultation with the Department of Energy, to conduct a feasibility study for the preservation and interpretation of historic sites associated with the Manhattan Project. Specifically, Congress directed the National Park Service to study the resources central to the mission of the Manhattan Project: Los Alamos, New Mexico; Oak Ridge, Tennessee; and Hanford, Washington.

How did the National Park Service determine these three sites were eligible for inclusion in the national park system?

The National Park Service has established three major criteria to determine if a resource is eligible for inclusion in the national park system: Is the resource nationally significant? Is the resource suitable for inclusion in the park system? Is inclusion in the national park system feasible?

The feasibility study undertaken by the Department of Energy and the Department of the Interior determined that the resources located in Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, Hanford possessed the national significance required for designation, that these resources were suitable for inclusion in the national park system, and that creation of the park was feasible. In addition, the study determined resources located at these sites retained architectural integrity and were eligible for National Register or National Historic Landmark designation. On July 13, 2011, a major milestone was realized when Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar, recommended that Congress create the Manhattan Project National Historical Park.

How will the park function?

This unit of the national park system will be jointly operated by the National Park Service and the Department of Energy. The Department of Energy will continue to own and maintain those resources selected for inclusion in the national historical park. The National Park Service will work cooperatively with the Department of Energy in undertaking the park’s interpretive programming.

When will the park be established?

Congress will determine the timeframe for park creation. As the Manhattan Project National Historical Park has yet to be designated by Congress, no date has been identified for its creation. Legislation currently under review in the House of Representatives specifies that the Manhattan Project National Historical Park will be established twelve months following the passage of legislation by the United States Senate.

When the planning process is initiated, will the public have opportunity to become involved?

Yes. Legislation establishing the park stipulates that the Department of Energy and the Department of the Interior collaborate in undertaking the park’s general management plan, a planning process applied to all units of the national park system. When initiating the general management plan process, the National Park Service orchestrates in-depth and layered planning, an approach inclusive of research, collaboration, and outreach to the general public.  

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 August 27, 2012

Written by Nancy Tinker, Project Manager

Monday, August 13, marked the 70th anniversary of the Manhattan Project. The communities of the Tri-Cities, Washington; Los Alamos, New Mexico; and Hanford, Washington participated in a commemorative event, where Representative Doc Hastings (R-WA) was featured as a speaker.

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 August 14, 2012

Written by Nancy Tinker, Project Manager

The Manhattan Project has been described as “the single most significant event of the 20th century.” It is a complex story with facets that embrace the nation’s scientific, industrial, economic, military, and cultural history.

Anyone visiting national parks like Little Bighorn or Little Rock Central High School understands these places are authentic sites – the places where history happened – and not places of celebration. In commemorative parks, the National Park Service works to preserve and objectively interpret complex and contentious history so future generations have opportunity for a deeper understanding of watershed events.

The National Trust acknowledges the complexities surrounding the Manhattan Project and believes Americans of all generations deserve the opportunity to learn about our nation’s history through the unbiased and balanced interpretation of the National Park Service. Creation of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park would permit visitors to explore authentic sites and form their own conclusions about how the Manhattan Project changed the world.

On Monday, August 6, CBS This Morning aired a segment showcasing Congressional interest in establishing the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. Click here to stream the full broadcast prepared by reporter Les Cowan. 

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 July 19, 2012

Written by Nancy Tinker, Project Manager

I’m Nancy Tinker, the National Trust’s project manager for the Manhattan Project. I’ll be providing you frequent updates as we work with the United States Congress and partnering organizations to establish the Manhattan Project National Historical Park.

In the last week, there has been movement in the House of Representatives, with the House Natural Resources Committee approving by unanimous consent legislation (H.R. 5987) to establish the three-unit national historical park. A hearing by the full House should follow shortly, with similar activity anticipated in the Senate.

Which brings me to activity occurring this week. The National Trust has issued an action alert requesting that our membership contact Congress to encourage co-sponsorship of the legislation creating the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. While time is short, the National Trust believes it is not too late for this Congress to take action before they adjourn at the end of the year. 

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.

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EOS on June 04, 2015
I just heard Sen. Patti Murray in an NPR interview, her father grew up in that town - and she fought to have it cleaned up- I hope all of the people who got cancer, and other awful things are taken care as the other poster said, his father gave his life for our freedom working there. Take care of those families!
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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