January 7, 2016
Contact: Tracy Atkins
Over many years, the National Park Service brings together groups of leading experts in the country to help develop the interpretative plan for a new park. To that end, the NPS invited a group of experts, including participants from Hiroshima and Nagasaki, to participate in a scholars’ forum on the Manhattan Project in Washington, DC, on November 9-10, 2015. The intent of the workshop was to identify topics and aspects of the Manhattan Project that should be incorporated into the interpretive planning for the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. The report from this workshop has been completed and is being made available on the park website at https://www.nps.gov/mapr/management.htm.
In December 2014, Congress authorized a new park called the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, which will be jointly administered by the National Park Service and the Department of Energy. Sites in Oak Ridge in Tennessee, Los Alamos in New Mexico, and Hanford in Washington State will make up the new park. The agreement on how to manage these sites was signed on November 10, 2015. The National Park Service will interpret the Manhattan Project, and the Department of Energy will ensure the public access, safety, environmental remediation, and historic preservation of its Manhattan Project properties.
“The addition of these three sites as a single unit of the National Park Service allows us, in partnership with the Department of Energy and many local partners, to tell the story surrounding significant events surrounding the development of nuclear weapons and the dire consequences of using that technology,” said National Park Service Intermountain Regional Director Sue Masica.
Historians' understandings of the Manhattan Project and the controversy over the use of the atomic bomb changed dramatically during the latter part of the 20th century, but current scholarship on the Manhattan Project and its legacy has been slow to enter public consciousness. Ultimately, the NPS interpretation will provide a framework for an invigorated public understanding of the Manhattan Project and its legacy.