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Manhattan Project Sites News

Manhattan Project Sites News

Kattie Strickland

With summer approaching, the Department of Energy is beginning to open registration for public tours in Oak Ridge, TN and Hanford, WA. In Oak Ridge, bus tours run from March through November. 

The tour itinerary includes stops at the Y-12 New Hope Visitor Center, Bethel Valley Church, and the Graphite Reactor at ORNL. The tour also drives by the Spallation Neutron Source and the East Tennessee Technology Park: Heritage Center.

At Hanford, registration opened on April 10 for the Hanford Site cleanup tours and all  spots were quickly claimed. 

On March 22, the Department of Energy held a "HerStory" Women's History Month celebration at the New Hope Visitor Center at Y-12 National Security Complex. The event honored Manhattan Project veteran Kattie Strickland, who worked as a janitor at Oak Ridge during the war. Because African-American men and women were not permitted to live together, Kattie and her husband were forced to live in separate hutments. They saved as much money as they could to send back their parents and children in Alabama.

Kattie's daughter, Dorothye Steele-Patterson, and granddaughter, Valeria Steele-Roberson, attended the event dressed in purple, Kattie's favorite color. Valeria presented DOE with Kattie's famous biscuit pan, which construction workers had fashioned for her out of scrap metal. The pan and a special exhibition, "HerStory: A Photography Exhibition of Women in the Secret City," will be on display at the New Hope Center during April. For more information, please see  African-American Manhattan Project veteran Kattie Strickland honored at women's history month celebration.

On March 13, Thomas Romero, executive director of the Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area, presented "Northern Rio Grande National Heritage Area: Sustaining Culture and Traditions" at Fuller Lodge. He discussed the Heritage Area's efforts to preserve northern New Mexico's cultural heritage. On April 10, the Los Alamos Historical Society (LAHS)  hosted a lecture by popular Abiquiu-based author Lesley Poling-Kempes on her book "Ladies of the Canyons: A League of Extraordinary Women and their Adventures in the American Southwest." LAHS will also host training sessions in April for people interested in becoming volunteers or docents at the Los Alamos History Museum.

The Mound Cold War Discovery Center Museum will host a ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 23. During the Manhattan Project, Dayton Project scientists worked on polonium research for the initiator of the atomic bombs. After the war, Mound Laboratories continued nuclear weapons research. According to a Dayton Daily News article, the Museum will "will include information, photographs and various other forms of media documenting the Mound Laboratory research and breakthroughs that helped changed the course of the last century and continue to impact this one." 

On April 7, the Trinity Site was open for its biannual open house. The next open house will be in October. Visitors can tour the site and see the McDonald Ranch House, the remains of Jumbo, and the Trinity Site monument.  KOAT News  reports on the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium's protest at the site. According to  its website , the Consortium aims "to bring attention to the health issues resulting from overexposure to radiation" caused by the Trinity Test.