There are exciting initiatives underway at the Manhattan Project National Historical Park (MPNHP) sites. The Los Alamos Daily Post reported that 2016 saw a record number of visits to New Mexico, and tourism-related spending increased as well. Los Alamos is continuing to enjoy an influx in tourists, thanks in part to the recently established MPNHP.
In mid-November, Los Alamos hosted the New Mexico Association of Museums annual conference, attended by over 75 museum professionals. Kris Kirby, Manhattan Project National Historical Park Superintendent, was the keynote speaker at the opening of the conference, discussing the important work of the National Park Service and museums. An evening reception was held at the Los Alamos History Museum's Hans Bethe House. Partners and sponsors for the conference included the Bradbury Science Museum, Los Alamos History Museum, Los Alamos National Bank, Los Alamos County, and others.
Ray Smith, who worked at the Y-12 National Security Complex for 48 years and has served as the Y-12 historian since 2005, has officially retired. In honor of his role in helping to create the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, Smith was awarded the U.S. Department of Energy Gold Medal Award on November 20. Retired Lieutenant General Frank Klotz, DOE under-secretary for nuclear security and administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration, presented Smith with the award.
Although he is retiring, Smith will continue to be active in Oak Ridge as the City of Oak Ridge's official historian. He was also recently selected to serve on the Tennessee Historical Commission, and is the vice president of the Oak Ridge Heritage and Preservation Association. We are very pleased that he also recently accepted AHF's offer to join our Board of Directors. Congratulations, Ray!
At Hanford, Washington State University Tri-Cities has been awarded a $73,000 grant from the National Park Service for a project on African-Americans and civil rights. WSU Tri-Cities will record oral histories with African-Americans who worked at Hanford during and after World War II and family members, and conduct related research.
"What we hope is we are laying a foundation for scholars in the years to come to build on," Michael Mays, WSU Tri-Cities director of the Hanford History Project, said in the Tri-City Herald. This is a very important project and AHF applauds the work of the WSU Tri-Cities, the Hanford History Project, and their local partners.
In other Hanford news, the American Nuclear Society awarded the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory's Radiochemical Processing Laboratory with its Nuclear Historic Landmark Award. Located in the 300 Area at Hanford Site, the lab works on isotope separations for industrial, medical and national security use; processes waste from the Hanford environmental cleanup; and is the only U.S. lab certified by the International Monitoring System of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test-Ban Treaty Organization.