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History > 20th century > WW2 (1939-1945) > USA, World > Timeline in pictures > USA > Manhattan Project    1942-1946

 

 

 

The Manhattan Project had a cumulative work force of some 600,000,

which included women and people of color.

 

Photograph:

National Archives

 

A Secret City With a Secret African American History

The U.S. government built Oak Ridge in 1942

to develop the world’s first atomic weapon.

NYT

June 11, 2022

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/11/
us/oak-ridge-tennessee-manhattan-project.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oak Ridge historians have been fighting

for the stories of African Americans

who supported the Manhattan Project in Oak Ridge, Tenn.,

to be more widely shared.

 

Photograph: National Archives

 

A Secret City With a Secret African American History

The U.S. government built Oak Ridge in 1942

to develop the world’s first atomic weapon.

NYT

June 11, 2022

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/11/
us/oak-ridge-tennessee-manhattan-project.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Manhattan Project 1942-1946

 

highly confidential

government program

charged with building

the world's first atomic bomb.

https://www.npr.org/local/309/2019/06/17/
732849972/did-city-officials-know-about-the-manhattan-project-s-work-in-chicago

 

 

 

In 1933,

as Adolf Hitler was ascending

to power in Germany,

Hungarian physicist Leó Szilárd

proposed the notion

of a nuclear chain reaction,

whereby neutrons released

from radioactive atomic nuclei

would hit other heavy nuclei

causing them to split (fission)

into smaller nuclei.

 

Every time

this splitting happened,

a little bit of energy

was released.

 

Do it

for a huge number of atoms

and you get a chain reaction,

with a related huge amount

of released energy.

 

In 1939,

together with Enrico Fermi,

Szilárd showed

that a multiplication

of released neutrons

was possible.

 

Szilárd knew

that the possibility

of a chain reaction

represented a shift

in world history.

 

An explosive device

with an uncontrolled

chain reaction would have

devastating consequences.

Szilárd convinced

Albert Einstein,

at the time the world's

most famous scientist,

to write a letter

to Franklin Roosevelt

urging the U.S. to embark

on a serious

bomb-making effort,

lest the Nazis did it first.

 

The result, in late 1941,

was the Manhattan Project,

a massive effort

led in Los Alamos

by J. Robert Oppenheimer

and overseen

by Major General

Leslie Groves.

 

On July 16, 1945,

the first bomb was detonated

in the desert of Alamogordo

in New Mexico.

 

The mushroom cloud

raised 40,000 feet

and broke windows

100 miles away.

 

Upon seeing the effects

of their invention,

Oppenheimer pronounced

the now famous words

from the Bhagavad Gita

 "Now I am become Death,

the destroyer of worlds."

 

On August 6 and 9,

the U.S. dropped

nuclear bombs

in Hiroshima and Nagasaki,

so far the only use

of atomic weapons

on a civilian population.

 

In a few months,

between 90,000

and 146,000 people

died in Hiroshima

and between 39,000

and 80,000 in Nagasaki,

with an estimated half

during the first day

after the bombing.

https://www.npr.org/sections/13.7/2016/07/13/
485819334/the-madness-of-humanity-nuclear-weapons-and-m-a-d

 

 

 

When a reported

7,000 African Americans

from the Deep South

were recruited to work

on the Manhattan Project

starting in 1942,

they knew little except

that the positions

were well-paid.

 

Drawn by newspaper ads,

word of mouth and recruiters

subcontracted by the military,

the workers arrived

by train or bus

in a heavily patrolled town

outside Knoxville, Tenn.

 

Signage around the plants

commanded:

“See nothing. Hear nothing.

Say nothing.”

 

What exactly

their blue-collar work

was supporting,

and the profound ways

it would alter

the course of history,

would remain a secret until

after the United States

unleashed atomic bombs

on Japan

at the end of World War II,

killing approximately

100,000 to 200,000 people.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/11/
us/oak-ridge-tennessee-manhattan-project.html

 

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/11/
us/oak-ridge-tennessee-manhattan-project.html

 

 

 

 

https://www.npr.org/local/309/2019/06/17/
732849972/did-city-officials-know-about-the-manhattan-project-s-work-in-chicago

 

 

 

 

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2018/may/03/
off-the-map-the-secret-cities-behind-the-atom-bomb-manhattan-project

 

 

 

 

https://www.npr.org/2017/11/28/
566980515/75-years-ago-scientists-conducted-an-unprecedented-nuclear-experiment

 

 

 

 

https://www.npr.org/sections/13.7/2016/07/13/
485819334/the-madness-of-humanity-nuclear-weapons-and-m-a-d

 

 

 

 

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/gallery/2015/nov/11/
manhattan-project-life-inside-america-secret-nuclear-past-in-pictures

 

https://www.theguardian.com/world/ng-interactive/2015/aug/05/
hiroshima-nuclear-guide-anniversary-atomic-bomb

 

https://www.npr.org/2015/07/17/
423740547/seven-decades-ago-a-new-enormous-kind-of-explosion

 

 

 

 

https://www.npr.org/2014/12/16/
371253668/national-park-would-memoralize-manhattan-project

 

 

 

 

https://www.theguardian.com/world/picture/2013/aug/13/
manhattan-project-photography#img-42

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/27/
science/donald-hornig-a-bomb-scientist-and-brown-president-dies-at-92.html

 

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/29/
science/3manharchive.html

 

 

 

 

https://www.npr.org/2005/07/15/
4756266/photographing-the-dawn-of-the-nuclear-age

 

 

 

 

https://www.npr.org/2003/02/27/1176693/revisiting-the-birth-of-the-bomb

 

 

 

 

https://www.nytimes.com/1961/07/16/
archives/columbia-shows-manhattan-project-documents-papers-once-classified.html

 

 

 

 

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/
science/20071030_MANHATTAN_GRAPHIC/sept9_1945.pdf

 

 

 

 

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/
science/20071030_MANHATTAN_GRAPHIC/oct4_1945.pdf

 

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/
science/20071030_MANHATTAN_GRAPHIC/oct3_1945.pdf

 

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/
science/20071030_MANHATTAN_GRAPHIC/oct1_1945.pdf

 

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/
science/20071030_MANHATTAN_GRAPHIC/oct1_1945.pdf

 

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/
science/20071030_MANHATTAN_GRAPHIC/sept29_1945.pdf

 

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/
science/20071030_MANHATTAN_GRAPHIC/sept28_1945.pdf

 

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/
science/20071030_MANHATTAN_GRAPHIC/sept27_1945.pdf

 

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/
science/20071030_MANHATTAN_GRAPHIC/sept26_1945.pdf

 

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/
science/20071030_MANHATTAN_GRAPHIC/sept12_1945.pdf

 

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/
science/20071030_MANHATTAN_GRAPHIC/aug7_1945.pdf

 

 

 

 

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/packages/pdf/
science/20071030_MANHATTAN_GRAPHIC/apr27_1940.pdf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Related

 

The New York Times > Topics > WW2

https://www.nytimes.com/topic/subject/world-war-ii-193945  

 

 

 

 

Canada > Canadian War Posters Collection

https://digital.library.mcgill.ca/warposters/english/introduction.htm 

 

 

 

 

The Guardian > Second World War

 

Second world war > Holocaust

http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2009/sep/09/second-world-war

Second world war > Stalingrad

http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2009/sep/08/second-world-war

Second World War > Liberation

http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2009/sep/10/second-world-war

Second World War > Aftermath

http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2009/sep/11/second-world-war

 

 

 

 

 

BBC Archive

https://www.bbc.co.uk/archive

 

 

 

 

 

Le Monde Diplomatique > Seconde guerre mondiale    1939-1945

https://www.monde-diplomatique.fr/index/sujet/secondeguerremondiale

 

 

 

 

 

US “sand pounders” / Coast Guardsmen

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/03/nyregion/
john-cullen-coast-guardsman-who-detected-spies-dies-at-90.html

 

 

 

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