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Manhattan Project Sites News - July/August 2018

Manhattan Project Sites News - July/August 2018

New AMSE under construction, June 2018. Photo courtesy of John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today.
On July 29, the American Museum of Science and Energy (AMSE) closed its doors at its location at 300 S. Tulane Avenue, where it had been open to visitors since 1975. AMSE will reopen in its new location at Main Street Oak Ridge in mid-October, with a grand opening ceremony planned for October 18 (photo of construction, left courtesy of John Huotari/Oak Ridge Today). According to Oak Ridge Today, “Exhibits in the new AMSE fall within one of five major categories: energy leadership, big science, national security, environmental restoration, and the Manhattan Project.” The museum will be open in its new location seven days a week.

As Oak Ridge city historian Ray Smith explains, Ken Mayes, who served as deputy director at AMSE for 12 years, has made the decision to step away from the museum. We have enjoyed working with Ken over the years and wish him the best in his future endeavors.

The City of Oak Ridge, in partnership with Explore Oak Ridge, has received a $56,000 grant to help creative interpretive signs for historic sites in the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. Oak Ridge Today reports that part of the grant “is to enhance the city’s component of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. The grant funding could be used to create interpretive signs at historic places like the Guest House and Chapel on the Hill. The interpretive signs will be accessible and include pictures and content.”

On July 13, the Manhattan Project National Historical Park - Los Alamos Friends Group and the National Park Service (NPS) signed a Philanthropic Partnership Agreement to further their mutual goals and support the funding nLos Alamos History Museum, October 2017.eeds of the park. Manhattan Project National Historical Park Superintendent Kris Kirby signed on behalf of NPS, and Los Alamos Friends Group President Kristin Henderson signed for the group.

Happy birthday to the Los Alamos History Museum! The Museum is celebrating its 50-year anniversary. It held a celebration on July 28 with cake. In an article in the Los Alamos Monitor, Los Alamos Historical Society Executive Director Heather McClenahan discusses the history of the museum, how the museum’s exhibits have changed over the years, and how social media has broadened its audience.

She says, “We want people to think, ask questions and to have an interactive experience rather than just have things shown to them…People that haven’t been to the museum, they follow what we do [online] and they interact with us based on what we talk about on social media. That’s been an interesting change.”

In March, Mitsugi Moriguchi, a survivor of the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, visited the B Reactor in Hanford, WA. He is believed to be the first Nagasaki survivor to visit the reactor. PBS Newshour recently ran a segment on his visit, featuring Moriguchi, B Reactor Museum Association President John Fox, and others. Moriguchi explains in the segment, “I came here because I wanted to know what the town that produced plutonium is doing today, and what it plans to go on doing in the future."