The first of the three primary Manhattan Project sites selected by project leader General Leslie Groves, Oak Ridge, Tennessee was also the largest by population. Originally designed for 13,000 workers, by 1945 the population of America’s Secret City had increased to over 75,000 workers and their families. The top-secret community existed for one purpose- to construct and operate massive uranium-enrichment facilities for use in the Little Boy atomic bomb being developed at Los Alamos. Learn more about life in the secret city below, from the revolutionary science to the invaluable contributions of women and the segregated African American community, to the fate of those who called this mountainous region home for decades prior to the advent of the Manhattan Project.
Last updated: June 15, 2023