Atomic Heritage Foundation

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

History

History

This section provides an overview of the history of the Manhattan Project, the key organizations involved, the science behind the bomb, and more.
Manhattan Project Insignia. By Aaron Sauers, Argonne National Laboratory

Atomic Glossary

Some of the terms encountered when perusing the website can be confusing or obscure. This glossary is provided to assist readers and learners of Manhattan Project history.
Nevada Test Site From Above (Yucca Flats)

Atomic Veterans 1946-1962

From 1946 to 1962, the United States conducted about 200 atmospheric nuclear tests--more than the other nuclear states put together at that time.[1] Approximately 400,000 servicemen in the US Army, Navy, and Marines were present during these atmospheric tests,[2] whether as witnesses to the tests themselves or as post-test cleanup crews.

Eniwetok Atoll

Atomic Veterans: Enewetak Atoll

The Marshall Islands in the Pacific were subjected to 67 nuclear tests from 1946 to 1958.[1] Some of the most notable operations included Operation Crossroads, which examined the effects of nuclear explosions on Navy ships; Operation Greenhouse, which focused on reducing the size and weight of an atomic bomb an

The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor

Attack on Pearl Harbor - 1941

The Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor brought the US into World War II.
Photo courtesy of the National Archives

Bataan Death March

On April 9, 1942, the American troops on the Bataan Peninsula of the Philippines surrendered to the Japanese. The captured men were then subjected to the torturous Bataan Death March.
Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill at Casablanca. Photo courtesy of NARA.

Big Science - 1942

President Franklin D. Roosevelt authorized the research, development, and production of an atomic bomb despite great uncertainties.
After the bombing of Hiroshima

Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki - 1945

The first atomic bomb, Little Boy, was dropped on Japan on August 6, 1945.
Schermerhorn Hall at Columbia University. Photo courtesy of Columbia University.

Breakthroughs - 1942

During the first half of 1942, several routes to a bomb were explored.
William Penney, Otto Frisch, Rudolf Peierls, and John Cockroft. Photo courtesy Atomic Heritage Foundation.

Britain's Early Input - 1940-41

The Frisch-Peierls Memorandum was an important assessment confirming the feasibility of an atomic bomb.

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