Atomic childhood an analysis of the impact of the Manhattan Project on the children of Oak Ridge, Tennessee /
The city of Oak Ridge was one of three major project sites built by the US Army
during the Manhattan Project – the top-secret mission started in June 1942 in order to
develop an atomic bomb within a three year period. The Oak Ridge site, chosen in
September 1942, was responsible for the production of the uranium that armed the
world’s first atomic bomb. Prior to the dropping of the atomic bomb, however, the real
mission of Oak Ridge was known to only a few select individuals. Indeed, most of the
residents and workers at the production plants in Oak Ridge knew only that their efforts
were, in some way, contributing to the war effort.
The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of the Manhattan Project on
the children of Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Children who were born in Oak Ridge during or
shortly after the Manhattan Project, or who moved to Oak Ridge during or shortly after
the Manhattan Project answered survey questions and were interviewed by the author.
These findings supplemented the written record about Oak Ridge.
While the children of Oak Ridge grew up in a unique cultural environment
because their city was dominated by the mission of the Manhattan Project, this study
reveals that they were surrounded by an enriching community and educational
atmosphere which caused many to develop a profound appreciation for the original
mission of Oak Ridge and the environment in which they lived.
School:The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
School Location:USA - Tennessee
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:united states manhattan project u s atomic bomb children oak ridge tenn tennessee
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