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The Manhattan Project
President Roosevelt Establishes the
August 13, 2012 was the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the Manhattan Project. The Manhattan Project played an essential role in bringing World War II to an end through the building of the atomic bomb. This major achievement was possible because the U.S. government conducted a massive, secret, nationwide enterprise that took science from the laboratory and into combat with an entirely new type of weapon.
Three primary sites were chosen to be the locations for this effort, with other sites playing key roles. Many renowned scientists from both the United States and abroad combined their extensive knowledge and expertise to meet the challenges of doing great work in a very short period of time. After the end of the war, the United States directed efforts towards peaceful uses of atomic energy.
Manhattan Project Map of Sites
Manhattan Project Signature Facilities
Manhattan, New York -- Why They Called It the Manhattan Project
Oak Ridge, Tennessee
• Selected as Uranium Enrichment Site
• The Graphite Reactor: A Historic Landmark at Oak Ridge National Laboratory
• Oak Ridge National Laboratory Review, [The First Fifty Years]
• Swords to Plowshares: A Short History of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (1943 - 1993)
Los Alamos, New Mexico
• Promethean Boldness at University of Chicago's Stagg Field
• Argonne's Rich Scientific Heritage [Argonne National Laboratory]
• Uranium Enrichment
Grand Junction, Colorado, Site
August 2, 1939 -- Albert Einstein's Letter to President Franklin D. Roosevelt
January 19, 1942 -- President Roosevelt Approves Production of Atomic Bomb
August 13, 1942 -- Manhattan Engineer District is established
December 2, 1942 -- First Self-sustaining Nuclear Chain Reaction
• Enrico Fermi Achieves First Self Sustain Nuclear Chain Reaction
• First-hand Recollections of the First Self-sustaining Chain Reaction
• Manhattan Project Notebook (1942) -- records the nuclear chain reaction
• The Patent
• Patent on World's First Reactor Was a Long Time Coming (Argonne Historical News Releases)
August 6, 1945 -- Little Boy Dropped on Hiroshima
August 9, 1945 -- Fat Man Dropped on Nagasaki
September 2, 1945 -- Japan Signs Official Instrument of Surrender
December 8, 1953 -- Atoms for Peace Speech
• President Eisenhower Delivers Atoms for Peace Speech
• The Speech
• More information about peaceful uses of the atom
December 19, 2014 -- Manhattan Project National Historical Park authorized
Agnew, Harold M.
Feynman, Richard P.
Lawrence, Ernest O.
Oppenheimer, J. Robert
Seaborg, Glenn T.
Nobel Laureates Gallery
The Manhattan Project: Making the Atomic Bomb
Manhattan Project Historical Resources, including An Interactive History
Leslie R. Groves: Manhattan Project's Main Man
Deflecting Physics for War
The Manhattan Project, Rice University
Center for Oak Ridge Oral History, including stories about the Manhattan Project
The Manhattan Project: A New and Secret World of Human Experimentation
Future of Atomic Energy by Enrico Fermi
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