Learn From The Museum

Preserving the history of the Manhattan Project and the Atomic Age

With an agreement signed on June 24, 2019, the Atomic Heritage Foundation and the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History forged a new partnership to preserve the history of the Manhattan Project and the Atomic Age. This significant agreement ensures the Atomic Heritage Foundation’s extensive collection of oral histories (Voices of the Manhattan Project), interpretive vignettes (Ranger in Your Pocket), and articles about the Manhattan Project and its legacy will remain available to the public for the foreseeable future.

Founded in 2002, the Atomic Heritage Foundation (AHF) is a nonprofit organization in Washington, DC that successfully led efforts to create a Manhattan Project National Historical Park. Established in 2015, the Manhattan Project National Historical Park has three sites: Los Alamos, NM, Hanford, WA and Oak Ridge, TN. As founder and President Cindy Kelly said, “Over the past two decades, AHF has created a broad array of educational and interpretive resources on the Manhattan Project. This partnership ensures AHF’s online resources remain available to audiences worldwide.”

For nearly two decades, AHF has recorded hundreds of oral histories of Manhattan Project veterans and published dozens more discovered in university and private archives. AHF’s goal has been to engage diverse audiences, especially younger generations, in learning about the Manhattan Project. Through first-hand accounts and programs on YouTube, AHF has successfully attracted a very youthful audience with over half under age 35. Last year, 1.6 million people accessed AHF’s online resources. 

As Richard Rhodes, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and AHF Board Member writes, “The Manhattan Project was tragic, ironic and epic, but most of all intensely human.” To capture the humanity of the Manhattan Project, AHF has published nearly 600 oral histories on the “Voices of the Manhattan Project” website. The website includes interviews with J. Robert Oppenheimer and General Leslie Groves, the project’s scientific and military leaders, as well as with hundreds of others including women, Native Americans, African-Americans and Hispanos whose stories are often overlooked.

The Atomic Heritage Foundation's main website has hundreds of pages of articles on the history of World War II and the Manhattan Project. One of its most popular features is a database of Manhattan Project participants. Because the Manhattan Project was a top-secret effort, the government did not keep public records. AHF’s directory of 14,000 Manhattan Project veterans is extremely popular online. 

With "Ranger in Your Pocket," visitors can experience virtual tours of Manhattan Project sites. Each tour features audio/visual vignettes drawn from interviews with Manhattan Project veterans and their families. Use your smartphone or tablet to take a self-guided tour while visiting Hanford's B Reactor or Bathtub Row at Los Alamos, or take a tour from the comfort of your home.

"Science is Everywhere" Winter Day Camps - December 23, 26, 27, 30 and January 2,3

The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History will host "Science is Everywhere" Winter Day Camp 2019 for children who Pre-K through 7th grade. Experience the wonders of science in one-day sessions, December 23, 26, 27, 30 and January 2,3. Sessions include "Prankenstein" "Rocket Science," "Robots are Everywhere" "Electrifying" and many more!

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Collaboration with the Atomic Heritage Foundation

With an agreement signed on June 24, 2019, the Atomic Heritage Foundation and the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History forged a new collaboration to preserve the history of the Manhattan Project and the Atomic Age. This significant agreement ensures the Atomic Heritage Foundation’s extensive collection of oral histories (Voices of the Manhattan Project), interpretive vignettes (Ranger in Your Pocket), and articles about the Manhattan Project and its legacy will remain available to the public for the foreseeable future.

Learn More

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Camp - January 20

The National Museum of Nuclear Science & History is pleased to offer single-day themed camps for the Winter Break, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and Presidents Day. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day camp is geared to campers in grades 1-3 and grades 4-7, and this camp is "Things that Go Boom!" Everyone loves a good explosion. Witness big booms and make little ones. Using chemistry and physics you will learn about what makes it go boom. Come have a blast!

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