Society News Archive

6 July 2015
Manhattan Project National Historic Park Next Year

In June 2015 the Atomic Heritage Foundation convened a two-day conference in Washington to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Manhattan Project. On the second day of this conference participants heard from several speakers about the Manhattan Project National Historic Park that will be established in 2016.

This unit of the National Park Service will encompass Manhattan Project sites at Los Alamos, New Mexico, Hanford, Washington, and Oak Ridge, Tennessee. It will join 49 other National Historic Parks such as Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia, and Chaco Culture, New Mexico.

Legislation establishing this park was included in the fiscal year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act that was signed into law last December. The bill culminated a 15-year effort, initiated by former Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Pete Domenici (R-NM), to preserve significant sites associated with the development of the atomic bomb. The National Park Service and the Department of Energy are collaborating on the establishment and management of this park. Under this legislation the park will "preserve and protect . . . nationally significant historic resources associated with the Manhattan Project," "improve public understanding of the Manhattan Project" and its legacy, "enhance public access," and work with other interests to preserve and protect other "historically significant resources."

The National Park Service has produced a short video about this park. Additional information is available on the Department of Energy website.

(Text from FYI, The American Institute of Physics Bulletin of Science Policy News, used with permission.)