Proposal for National Park in Oak Ridge: 'The Secret City'

July 14, 2011, 1:39 pm

Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar announced Wednesday that he is recommending to Congress the establishment of a national historical park in Oak Ridge, Tenn. and other locations to commemorate the Manhattan Project, the top-secret effort to create an atomic bomb during World War II.

As a result of the top secret project, Oak Ridge was once known as "The Secret City."

“The secret development of the atomic bomb in multiple locations across the United States is an important story and one of the most transformative events in our nation’s history,” Secretary Salazar said. “The Manhattan Project ushered in the atomic age, changed the role of the United States in the world community, and set the stage for the Cold War.”

The National Park Service, at the direction of Congress, conducted a special resource study on several Manhattan Project sites for possible inclusion in the National Park System. The study, released to Congress this week, recommends that the best way to preserve and interpret the Manhattan Project is for Congress to establish a national historical park at three sites where much of the critical scientific activity associated with the project occurred: Los Alamos, New Mexico; Hanford, Washington; and Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

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