People of Oak Ridge

Three woman in nursing uniforms hold babies in a hospital nursery.
A nursery in Oak Ridge.


Approved by General Leslie Groves in September 1942 as a top-secret uranium enrichment facility, the secret city of Oak Ridge boasted the largest population of the Manhattan Project’s three main centers of operation. Initially planned for 13,000 residents, Oak Ridge's population quickly ballooned to more than 75,000 by the end of World War II. The Calutron Girls were among those that worked and lived in Oak Ridge. This group of young women monitored the calutrons at Y-12, finalizing the uranium enrichment process. Oak Ridge also housed a sizeable African American community who contributed to the success of the project in countless ways. Manhattan Project luminaries such as Enrico Fermi, Leslie Groves, and J. Robert Oppenheimer also spent time in the secret city. Learn more about Oak Ridge and the people who lived and worked there at the links below.   
Loading results...

    Last updated: August 28, 2023

    Park footer

    Contact Info

    Mailing Address:

    Manhattan Project National Historical Park
    c/o NPS Intermountain Regional Office
    P.O. Box 25287

    Denver, CO 80225-0287


    Hanford: 509.376.1647
    Los Alamos: 505.661.6277
    Oak Ridge: 865.482.1942

    Contact Us