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This section provides an overview of the history of the Manhattan Project, the key organizations involved, the science behind the bomb, and more.
Reagan and Gorbachev at the Geneva Summit

Reagan and Gorbachev: The Geneva Summit

The Geneva Summit, the first meeting between U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, was held on November 19 and 20, 1985. The two leaders met to discuss the Cold War-era arms race, primarily the possibility of reducing the number of nuclear weapons. Hosted in Geneva, Switzerland, the meeting was the first American-Soviet summit in more than six years.

Reagan and Gorbachev at the Reykjavik Summit

Reagan and Gorbachev: The Reykjavik Summit

The Reykjavík Summit, held on October 11 and 12, 1986, was the second meeting of US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev. Following up on the previous year’s Geneva Summit, Reagan and Gorbachev continued to work toward and debate the possible terms of nuclear arms reduction at Reykjavík. The two leaders did not reach an agreement at Reykjavík, though many diplomats and experts consider the summit a turning point in the Cold War.

J. Robert Oppenheimer hosting a party at his home in Los Alamos

Recreation and Leisure at Los Alamos

Los Alamos’s residents organized many different means of recreation and leisure.
Flag at Trinity Site at half-staff in remembrance of Roosevelt

Remembering Franklin Delano Roosevelt

Manhattan Project veterans remember the death of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
World War II poster


Protecting workers was an important priority for Manhattan Project officials.
The science behind the bomb

Science Behind the Atom Bomb

The U.S. developed two types of atomic bombs during the Second World War.
A ruined synagogue in Eisenach after Kristallnacht in 1938

Scientific Exodus

A startling proportion of the most famous names on the Manhattan Project belonged to scientists who came to England or America to flee from the Axis.
Smyth Report

Secrecy Unveiled - 1945

Henry DeWolf Smyth prepared the official U.S. government history about the development of the atomic bombs.
The Los Alamos main gate

Security and Secrecy

A key component of keeping the Manhattan Project secret was making sure Project sites were secret and secure.