Plans to create the Manhattan Project National Historical Park (which includes my hometown of Oak Ridge, Tennessee) took another major step forward yesterday afternoon when the bill to create the park was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. How did they ever get that one past the Tea Party Republicans, who generally have no use for American history, archaeology, and other such things—and consider them to be a waste of government funds? Oh!!! That’s right!!! It’s the history of making something they love—atomic bombs. We should have known!!!
Actually, back in 2010, I attended a public meeting on the project, which was held here in Oak Ridge by the National Park Service. Plans for the new park created quite a stir among the citizenry of Oak Ridge. Oak Ridge was the national administrative headquarters for the Manhattan Project during World War II. Although the original industrial sites to support development of the first atomic bomb were established at various locations across the nation, the whole show was administered here in Oak Ridge, and Oak Ridge had one of the largest development sites. However, the geniuses at the National Park Service used the public meeting to present a preferred alternative to make Los Alamos the central player in the Manhattan Project National Historical Park—and the other project sites around the country would be Hollywood bit players and extras in the show—another sure sign that one more thing had gone terribly wrong in American government. The citizens of Oak Ridge were not happy campers.
Since that meeting in 2010, I have been too busy to closely follow the proposed park through all of its trials, tribulations, and revisions, but it is good to know that progress is being made. The Archaeology in Tennessee blog predicts that the Act to establish the park will now have smooth sailing through the U.S. Senate, and President Obama will gladly sign the final bill. You may read the most recent newspaper article about the Manhattan Project National Historical Park and the role of Oak Ridge at the following URL: