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Manhattan Project National Historical Park CELEBRATING FIVE YEARS

Welcome to the Manhattan Project National Historical Park-Los Alamos Site host page for resources, virtual programming and family fun to learn all about the Park's history, assets and progress!

Scroll through to find local Los Alamos and virtual tours, a variety of presentations, articles and features to learn all about the Park during the Manhattan Project era to the present, and photos and links to guide you on your way!

Watch the Original Signing Ceremony

Manhattan Project National Historical Park Signing Ceremony - November 10, 2015
Ashley Pond Park, Los Alamos, NM

Presentations & Activities

Watch the Panel Discussion Webinar held on the 5th Anniversary, November 10, 2020

Welcome & MAPR Proclamation - Chair Sara Scott, Los Alamos County Council

Happy Anniversary MAPR! (video) - Rick Reiss, President of the Friends of MAPR-Los Alamos

How do you become a National Park? Panel discussion about the long process to MAPR establishment (moderated by Los Alamos County Councilor James Robinson) - Heather McClenahan, former Executive Director of Los Alamos Historical Society; Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation; Colleen French, DOE; Seth Kirshenberg, ECA Executive Director; Maynard Plahuta, B-Reactor Museum Assoc.

Focus on the Three Communities of MAPR - Amy Fitzgerald, Oak Ridge, TN; David Reeploeg, Tri-Cities, WA; Linda Matteson, Los Alamos, NM

What’s the Future of MAPR - Kris Kirby, NPS; Tracy Atkins, DOE

A Week of Celebration - Kelly Stewart, Los Alamos County

Watch the Los Alamos Site Park Grand Opening & Veterans' Day Celebration, held November 11, 2015

View the Los Alamos Site Park Grand Opening anytime on YouTube at the link below.

Watch the "History of the Making of the Park" Webinar by Atomic Heritage Foundation Founder & President Cindy Kelly

Atomic Heritage Foundation Founder and President Cindy Kelly

The Atomic Heritage Foundation founder and President Cindy Kelly will provide a retrospective on the making of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. In the 1990s, the Los Alamos National Laboratory slated its abandoned Manhattan Project buildings for demolition as part of a nationwide clean-up effort. At Kelly’s urging, the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation decided to take a closer look. Seeing the dilapidated V-Site buildings, where the Gadget was developed in November 1997, one Council member exclaimed, “These are monumental in their lack of monumentality.”

Kelly will recount how the V-Site’s successful preservation at Los Alamos was the impetus for similar efforts at Hanford and Oak Ridge. However, preserving the Manhattan Project sites and creating a Manhattan Project National Historical Park was far from inevitable.

Like the Manhattan Project itself, the creation of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park depended upon a great collaboration--from Congressional and government leaders, non-profit organizations, Manhattan Project veterans and individuals. Lots of lessons to be learned in persistence and partnerships!

Project Trinity - The Myth, The Legend, The Legacy

Los Alamos National Laboratory Historian Alan Carr

A lecture with Lab Historian Alan Carr

Join Los Alamos National Laboratory Historian Alan Carr as he reflects on the 75th Anniversary of the Trinity Test. Discover the stories of selecting and preparing the site, the experiments leading up to the test, its lasting legacy, and even why it was named "Trinity."

Play Our Virtual Break Out Box Scavenger Hunt - Fun for the Whole Family!

Participate in a virtual scavenger hunt to unlock the secrets of the Manhattan Project! In honor of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park 5th Anniversary, learn more about what happened in the Secret City of Los Alamos, NM.

Find the ANSWERS at the very, very bottom of this page. No peeking!

LANL "The Secret City: Project Y" App - New Update!

The Secret City: Project Y mobile app is back!

Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) is proud to announce the re-release of The Secret City: Project Y — the app that lets you explore Los Alamos, New Mexico as it was during the Manhattan Project. Rebuilt and released for the fifth anniversary of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, this virtual experience has something for everyone! In the app’s story mode, discover how Project Y transformed this quiet mesa top into a top-secret laboratory. Test your 1940s computing skills on the Marchant calculator—a mechanical desk calculator used by the human computers during the project. Or take your mobile device to downtown Los Alamos and see how much has changed in the last 75 years. With The Secret City: Project Y, you can even virtually roam around “behind the fence” at LANL! Visit two of the most significant historic sites, Gun Site and V-Site, as they were in 1945.

Start your journey at the plaza in Santa Fe, N.M. at 109 East Palace Avenue just like the people of Project Y. Or visit the remote corner of the Alamogordo Bombing Range and see the Trinity Site—where the world first entered the atomic age.

The Secret City: Project Y app is available today on the Apple App Store and Google Play!

View of the Sangre de Cristo mountains from Anniversary Trail

Virtual & Local Los Alamos TOURS

Los Alamos History Museum Historic District Guided Tours - Monday-Friday at 11:00am

Step inside the homestead-era Romero Cabin, visit an Ancestral Pueblo site, hear about the giants of 20th century physics who walked these streets, and learn how Bathtub Row got its name.

Tickets include museum admission and are available at the Los Alamos History Museum Shop. Tickets are sold until tours are filled, at five visitors. ​A second tour may be added if demand is high. Tours last approximately an hour and a half. COVID Safe Practices are implemented, including maintaining 6-feet between individuals and masks are required at all times.

Ages 19 and over—$15

Ages 18 and under—FREE with a ticketed adult

DUE TO COVID-19, HOURS MAY CHANGE. PLEASE CLICK BELOW FOR THE MOST UP-TO-DATE INFORMATION.

Historic Hikes of Los Alamos, NM

View from Anniversary Point

Beyond ​Museum Walls - Los Alamos is surrounded by history! We invite you to walk in the footsteps of those who came before us as you explore historic sites in Los Alamos, NM.

The canyons and mesas in and around Los Alamos are linked by over 150 miles of trails. Many of these trails tell a story of eras past. Get out and explore!

Learn as You Hike: Take a hike back in time on the Kwage Mesa Trail

Take the Atomic City Spy Tour

Where there are secrets, there are spies. See where Los Alamos’ four spies lived, worked and played.

Video Highlights of Fuller Lodge, the Historic Walking Tour, and Local Attractions

Take a visual tour of the Women's Army Corp (WAC) Dormitory

Woman's Army Corp (WAC) Dormitory

Background - During the Manhattan Project, a 20-person dormitory was built. The construction drawings are dated April 1943 and the current address of the building is 1725 17th Street. This particular dormitory was used to house members of the Women’s Army Corp (WAC). In the “Enabling Legislation for Manhattan Project National Historical Park (MPNHP),” the eligible areas are defined for each site. For Los Alamos, “the former dormitory located at 1725 17th Street” is specifically noted. In the MPNHP Foundation Document (January 2017), the WAC Dormitory was identified in the related resources at Los Alamos as “park-eligible in the park legislation but not within the current park boundary.” Basically, the WAC dormitory is park-eligible but is currently not in the park. The County acquired the building and lot in 2019 from the Los Alamos Christian Science Society. The County is currently evaluating possible reuses for this historic building.

Who is the WAC? - The Women’s Army Corps (WAC) was the women’s branch of the U.S. Army. The Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps (WAAC) was established "for the purpose of making available to the national defense the knowledge, skill, and special training of women of the nation." On July 1, 1943, WAAC was given active duty status, becoming WAC.

Over 400 WACs served in the Manhattan District, primarily at the three major sites: Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, and Hanford. Hanford had the smallest group of WACs, and Los Alamos had the largest group.

Minesh Bacrania's “Dormitory” is a self-funded and self-published ‘portrait’ of one of the few remaining buildings from the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos.

Dr. J. Robert Oppenheimer House

The Oppenheimer House, today a private residence, was initially built for the sister of the Director of the Los Alamos Ranch School. J. Robert Oppenheimer, his wife Kitty, and their very young children Peter and Toni lived there during the Manhattan Project. In this video, Heather McClenahan outlines the history of the Oppenheimer House before and during the Manhattan Project.

J. Robert Oppenheimer lived in this house from 1943 to 1945. Jerry and Helene Suydam moved into the Oppenheimer House in 1958. The house eventually will become part of the Los Alamos History Museum. In this video, J. Robert Oppenheimer recalls his daily schedule at Los Alamos.

Thanks to a generous gift from Helene and Jerry Suydam, the Oppenheimer House, often called the "crown jewel" of the Manhattan Project, is in the process of historic preservation, renovation, and exhibit development.

The Oppenheimer House Fund will support the urgent infrastructure needs of the house, including electrical upgrades, code and accessibility improvements, repair and rehabilitation, hazardous materials abatement, and a fire protection system. After these updates are complete, funds will support the development of innovative exhibits and ongoing maintenance.

All donations to this fund will go directly to the Oppenheimer House.

Please join us in opening this historic home to the public.

Ranger in Your Pocket Tours

"Ranger in Your Pocket" is a great way to take virtual tours of Manhattan Project sites! Each tour features audio/visual vignettes drawn from interviews with Manhattan Project veterans and their families.

Use your smartphone or tablet to take a self-guided tour while visiting Hanford's B Reactor or Bathtub Row at Los Alamos, or take a tour from the comfort of your home.

Historic Fuller Lodge, Los Alamos, NM

ABOUT THE PARK: History

"A Sense of Place"

"A Sense of Place" is a documentary video produced by the Atomic Heritage Foundation in 2006 that provides a tour of the properties that are part of new Manhattan Project National Historical Park in Los Alamos.

Richard Rhodes, Pulitzer Prize-winner author of the “Making of the Atomic Bomb,” explains how discovery of fission in late 1938 led to a race to create an atomic weapon in World War II. A student at the Los Alamos Boys Ranch School in 1942, Sterling Colgate recalls recognizing J. Robert Oppenheimer who was visiting the campus incognito because of his porkpie hat. First-hand accounts by Nobel Laureate Hans Bethe and other physicists give audiences a sense of what it was like to work on the project. Phil Morrison describes the laboratory in August 1944 as “intense concern, intensity of work, intensity of hope, intensity of wonder.”

Voices of the Manhattan Project

Our online collection features 600 audio/visual interviews with Manhattan Project workers and their families, including J. Robert Oppenheimer, General Leslie R. Groves, Glenn Seaborg, Hans and Rose Bethe, George and Vera Kistiakowsky, and many more.

"Voices" includes interviews with some of the men who flew on the atomic bombing missions. Our "Voices from Japan" section includes interviews with atomic bomb survivors, the mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and experts on the bombings and their impacts.

"Voices of the Manhattan Project" is a joint project by the Atomic Heritage Foundation and the Los Alamos Historical Society to create a public archive of our oral history collections of Manhattan Project veterans and their families.

Women and Minority Communities and the Manhattan Project

Photos courtesy of the Atomic Heritage Foundation

African-Americans and the Manhattan Project

African Americans played important, though often overlooked, roles on the Manhattan Project. Black workers, many striving to escape Jim Crow laws and the drought that devastated rural farming communities following the Great Depression, joined the project in the thousands. While some worked as scientists and technicians in Chicago and New York, most African Americans on the project were employed as construction workers, laborers, janitors, and domestic workers at Oak Ridge and Hanford.

The Ranger in Your Pocket series has 21 short videos about the experiences of African-Americans in the Manhattan Project. The series is organized under four headings: “The Great Migration,” “On the Job,” “Race Relations” and “After the War,” and features interviews with participants, experts and documentary photos.

Hispanos in Los Alamos

Although frequently omitted from official histories, Hispanos have served in pivotal positions at Los Alamos since its inception. In 1942, the federal government took over the Los Alamos Ranch School for the top-secret Manhattan Project laboratory. Short of laborers, the Army Corps of Engineers soon recruited the neighboring Hispanos to help build the laboratory and residences for what would become known as Los Alamos.

Native Americans and the Manhattan Project

The Los Alamos area was home to several Pueblo communities. The Pueblos trace their heritage to the Ancestral Pueblo people, whose civilization began in 1200 BC and eventually extended over much of the Southwest. The San Ildefonso Pueblo was the nearest to the project site. Its community was small and steeped in tradition. Many of its residents were avid potters, a cultural art that had been practiced there for millennia. The arrival of the Manhattan Project in Los Alamos in 1943 was believed to be a temporary "interference" by outsiders into northern New Mexico. Instead, the "lab on the Hill" has become a permanent reality for the region.

Women and the Bomb

Women played a very important role in varying aspects of the Manhattan Project. However, because both the military and upper echelons of the scientific community were male dominated, the role of women was often overshadowed. Women participated in both a civilian and a military capacity. Civilian women worked as nurses, physicists, engineers, machine operators, maids, runners, drivers, chemists, typists, filers, doctors, inspectors, researchers, teachers, veterinarians, cryptographers, draftswomen, pipe-fitters, glass blowers, secretaries, and gauge watchers. In most instances they were over-worked and under-paid compared to their male counterparts. Although most of the women were white, there were Hispanic, Native American and African-American women involved.

Ranger in Your Pocket: Espionage

Manhattan Project Spies Oscar Seborer codename "Godsend" (left) and Klaus Fuchs (right)

This video focuses on spies during the Manhattan Project and the Alsos Mission in Europe, in which soldiers and scientists raced to determine how far Nazi Germany was in its quest for the bomb.

Until 1995 only two Soviet spies, Klaus Fuchs and David Greenglass, were publicly known to have stolen U.S. atomic secrets from Los Alamos, the super-secret Manhattan Project facility where the atomic bomb was actually built. Coded Soviet cables sent during the years 1940–48 that were eventually deciphered by US intelligence, under the codename Venona, and released in 1995 identified a third Soviet agent, Theodore Hall, a young physics prodigy who had worked as a junior scientist in the plutonium bomb project. Recently declassified documents reveal that along with Fuchs, Greenglass, and Hall, there was a fourth Soviet source at the Los Alamos Laboratory in WWII - Oscar Seborer codename "Godsend". This is the 'new' spy whose name was only released last November 2019.

Main Gate Park, Los Alamos, New Mexico

ABOUT THE PARK: Now

A Creative View of Manhattan Project History in Los Alamos

Photos courtesy of the Los Alamos Creative District

The Los Alamos Creative District visits some of our most historic sites to capture these images with a little artistic twist. Visit at the link below to see more!

Update on Preservation Work for Los Alamos Manhattan Project National Historical Park Assets

LEFT: The Concrete Bowl with the wooden tower. The bowl was designed to test recovering plutonium in case of a failed nuclear test. RIGHT: The Concrete Bowl after preservation work.

The team at Los Alamos National Laboratory recently finished historic preservation work on two Manhattan Project National Historical Park sites that share different stories from the early years of the Laboratory. Read more about these preservation efforts and learn about two unique historic sites at the link below.

Be a Friend of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park

Want to support the Manhattan Project National Historical Park? Join the Friends of MAPR- Los Alamos Site! Contact Rick Reiss at FriendsofMAPR@gmail.com for more information.

"Doctor Atomic" Online

Doctor Atomic is a contemporary opera composed by John Adams with a libretto by theater director Peter Sellars. The opera, which premiered in 2005, is set in the summer of 1945, during the weeks leading up to the Trinity Test, the first-ever detonation of a nuclear weapon. J. Robert Oppenheimer, director of the Los Alamos Laboratory, is the central character of the opera. Other historical figures involved in the Manhattan Project, including General Leslie Groves, Edward Teller, Robert R. Wilson, and Kitty Oppenheimer, are also represented.

Learn more about the opera's background, creation, synopsis and how it was received by the world by clicking below. In addition, watch an interview with renowned opera director Peter Sellars, who staged Doctor Atomic at the Santa Fe Opera. He challenges audiences to consider the moral implications of our atomic heritage.

To complement the opera, the Atomic Heritage Foundation has launched an online interpretive program, “Doctor Atomic Trail.” The program features more than 30 audio/visual vignettes on Manhattan Project sites in New Mexico, with firsthand accounts from Manhattan Project participants and perspectives from historians.

Manhattan Project National Historical Park Stamp

Left: The “A-Bomb” pin, given after WW-II to workers on the Manhattan Project. Right: When a collector of National Park Site stamps has collected the stamps from all three sites of the Manhattan Project, together they form the image of the “A-Bomb” pin.

Every National Park has a park stamp for visitors to collect. When you visit any of the three Manhattan Project National Historical Park sites – Los Alamos, Oak Ridge or Hanford – you’ll find a special 3-part stamp. Each site’s stamp is one third of the design of the “A Bomb” pin that was given to Manhattan Project workers after the war.

Los Alamos Site Visitor Center

Visit the Los Alamos Site Manhattan Project National Historical Park Visitor Center. Check the website in advance for the current hours of operation, due to the COVID-19 health emergency.

Breakout Box Clue ANSWERS:

1251; 1663; pipe; 235; two; Hall; 300; Rose; 239; Baker; three; Fuchs; Kitty; 7320; Elsie; Three; Norris; Otowi; David