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Secretary of Interior Salazar Seeks to Commemorate Manhattan Project through New National Historical Park
Historic Preservation Blog from PreservationDirectory.com - National Park Service, Manhattan Project Sites National Historical Landmark Site
Contributed By: National Park Service
Website: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/projectHome.cfm?projectID=14946

WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced today that he
is recommending to Congress the establishment of a national historical park
to commemorate the Manhattan Project, the top-secret effort to create an
atomic bomb during World War II.

“The secret development of the atomic bomb in multiple locations across the
United States is an important story and one of the most transformative
events in our nation’s history,” Secretary Salazar said. “The Manhattan
Project ushered in the atomic age, changed the role of the United States in
the world community, and set the stage for the Cold War.”

The National Park Service, at the direction of Congress, conducted a
special resource study on several Manhattan Project sites for possible
inclusion in the National Park System. The study, released to Congress
this week, recommends that the best way to preserve and interpret the
Manhattan Project is for Congress to establish a national historical park
at three sites where much of the critical scientific activity associated
with the project occurred: Los Alamos, New Mexico; Hanford, Washington; and
Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The legislation that authorized the study in 2004
was sponsored by Representative Doc Hastings (R-WA) and Senator Jeff
Bingaman (D-NM).

“Once a tightly guarded secret, the story of the atomic bomb’s creation
needs to be shared with this and future generations,” said National Park
Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis. “There is no better place to tell a
story than where it happened, and that’s what national parks do. The
National Park Service will be proud to interpret these Manhattan Project
sites and unlock their stories in the years ahead.”

Operating from December, 1942 until September, 1945 the Manhattan Project
was a $2.2 billion effort that employed 130,000 workers at its peak, but
was kept largely secret and out of public view.

The study suggests that relevant resources in Dayton, Ohio, and other sites
where activity contributing to the project occurred could be associated
with the proposed national historical park, but would not be part of the
actual park.

The recommendation has been endorsed by the Department of Energy, which
would partner with the National Park Service in developing and managing the
proposed park. The study calls for the Department of Energy to continue
managing and operating the facilities associated with the Manhattan Project
and for the National Park Service to provide interpretation and education
in connection with these resources.

It is now up to Congress and the President to decide whether to designate a
national historic park. If designated, the National Park Service would
work with the Department of Energy and consult with the public and other
stakeholders to develop a management plan.

In conducting the study, the National Park Service undertook an extensive
public involvement process engaging state and local governments, private
property owners, interested organizations, and others. Through this
process, strong public support emerged for preserving resources associated
with the Manhattan Project and making the story of this remarkable effort
more broadly known.

For additional information, including the study documents transmitted to
Congress, please visit the Manhattan Project Sites study website at:
http://parkplanning.nps.gov/projectHome.cfm?projectID=14946.


Keywords: National Park Service, Manhattan Project Sites National Historical Landmark Site

Posted: July 13, 2011
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Unless noted, the thoughts and opinions expressed in the article are solely that of the
author and not necessarily the opinion of the editors of PreservationDirectory.com.
   



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