The Manhattan Project

Leo Szilard

John Adams's Lecture

Cindy Kelly: The next speaker is John Adams, who is a composer, as you all know, and composed most recently an opera about the Manhattan Project, “Doctor Atomic,” which opened in San Francisco last October [2005]. We are absolutely thrilled to have him here, as an artist who has grappled with the deeper meanings and expressed them most dramatically in music and in theater in this opera. I’d like to invite John to come and get wired up and begin.

[Applause]

John Adams: Thank you very much, thank you.

Theodore Petry's Interview

Cindy Kelly: Okay. I’m Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation, and I’m in Orland Park, Illinois. It is Tuesday, March 13, 2018, and I have with me Theodore Petry. My first question for him is to say his full name and to spell it.

Ted Petry: Theodore Frank Petry, Jr. The name Theodore is T-h-e-o-d-o-r-e, and F for Frank, and Petry, of course, capital P-e-t-r-y, and Junior.

Kelly: First, I just want to know something about where you were born, when you were born, and a little bit about your family.

William J. Nicholson's Interview

Cindy Kelly:  I’m Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation, and it’s Tuesday, March 13, 2018. I’m in Orland Park, Illinois, and I have with me William Nicholson. I’d first like to ask him to say his full name and spell it.

William Nicholson: Oh, my name is William J., Joseph Nicholson. W-i-l-l-i-a-m, J, Joseph, J-o-s-e-p-h, Nicholson, N-i-c-h-o-l-s-o-n.

Kelly: Perfect. Thank you very much. It’s great to be here in Chicago, and interview you about your illustrious past.

Nicholson: Whoa.

Robert S. Norris's Interview (2002)

Robert S. Norris: By the late 30s, physicists, in Europe primarily, but some in America too, were making great discoveries about the atom. The key date here was January 1939, when European scientists had discovered fission. News of that was brought to the United States by Niels Bohr. Actually, it was brought to Washington, DC, at a conference at George Washington University.

Milton Levenson's Interview

Cindy Kelly:  Okay. I’m Cindy Kelly, I’m in Alexandria, Virginia. It is January 9th, 2017. I have with me Milton Levenson. My first question to him is to please say his name and then spell it.

Levenson: My name is Milton Levenson. No middle name. M-i-l-t-o-n, and Levenson is L-e-v-e-n-s-o-n.

Kelly:  Terrific. At any rate, let’s begin with the beginning. Tell us, if you would, when you were born and where, and something about your childhood.

Henry Frisch's Interview

Cindy Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly, November 17, 2016, Chicago, Illinois. I have with me Henry Frisch. My first question for him is to say your name and spell it, please.

Henry Frisch: Okay. It’s Henry Frisch, F-r-i-s-c-h.

Kelly:  Why don’t you tell us who you are?

Peter Vandervoort's Interview

Cindy Kelly: Okay. I’m Cindy Kelly. It is November 17, 2016. I’m in Chicago, Illinois, and I’m with Peter Vandervoort. I would like first to ask Peter to say his name and spell it.

Peter Vandervoort:   I am Peter Oliver Vandervoort. Vandervoort has now been spelled in an Americanized way, V-a-n-d-e-r-v-o-o-r-t. 

Kennette Benedict's Interview

Cindy Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly. This is November 17, 2016, in Chicago, Illinois. I have with me Kennette Benedict, and the first thing I’m going to ask her is to say her name and spell it.

Kennette Benedict: Kennette Benedict. K-e-n-n-e-t-t-e, Benedict, B-e-n-e-d-i-c-t.

Kelly: Great. Thank you, Kennette, for being here. Why don’t we start with just a little something about who you are and why we’ve invited you here today.

Julie Melton's Interview

Cindy Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly. This is Santa Fe, New Mexico, Wednesday, October 12, 2016. I have with me Julie Melton. My first question for Julie is to say her name and spell it.

Julie Melton: I’ve been widowed twice, so I’ve had a lot of last names, but my maiden name was Hawkins. My father was at Los Alamos. Now my name is Melton, Julie Melton. Just to make it complicated, I’ve written books on democratization in the developing world, and I used my pen name Fisher for that. So it does get complicated.

Baldwin Sawyer's Interview

Cynthia Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation, and it is Wednesday, August 24th, 2016. I am in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, and with me is Dr. Baldwin Sawyer. My first question for him is to say his name and spell it.

Baldwin Sawyer: Baldwin Sawyer, B-a-l-d-w-i-n S-a-w-y-e-r. My initials are B.S, and in case anybody is wondering, that stands for Boy Scout.

Kelly: Well, that’s interesting. [Laughs] Can you tell us when and where you were born?

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