Atomic Heritage Foundation

In partnership with the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

General Groves: Now He Can be Heard

General Groves: Now He Can be Heard

General Leslie R. Groves

In his account of the Manhattan Project,"Now It Can Be Told" (1962), General Leslie R. Groves wrote that his spirits fell when he learned he was selected to direct the atomic bomb project. "Oh, that thing." You can only imagine his expression, but now his voice can be heard for the first time online. 
 
For several months, we have been steadily working on digitizing and transcribing three outstanding oral history collections: the Stephane Groueff Collection (1965), the S. L. Sanger Collection (1985), and the Richard Rhodes Collection (early 1990s). Just this week we have uploaded the first batch of interviews from the Sanger and Groueff Collections, including two hour-long interviews with General Leslie R. Groves, head of the Manhattan Project.
 
In the first interview, General Groves discusses the start of the Manhattan Project. He recalls the troubles he had working with Leo Szilard and Eugene Wigner and explains how the project got its start. In the second interview, Groves discusses his childhood and genealogy. Stephane Groueff, who wrote one of the first books on the Manhattan Project, published in 1967, conducted interviews with dozens of top Manhattan Project scientists. He clearly had enormous respect for General Groves and thoughtfully conducted the interview.
 
We are also adding the audio recordings and full transcripts of interviews conducted by S. L. Sanger for his book "Working on the Bomb," published in 1989. Last summer we uploaded the book versions of the interviews; now we are adding the audio and the full, unedited transcripts. The latest batch of Sanger's interviews are with scientists Edward TellerLeona Woods MarshallJohn Wheeler, and Herbert Anderson, cafeteria manger Harry Petcher, and construction manager Frank Mackie.
 
The process of digitizing, transcribing and preparing the interviews for publication is demanding. We are very grateful for our excellent interns and volunteer assistance but could use your help, too. Please consider making a donation so more Manhattan Project participants can be heard.