The Manhattan Project

Oak Ridge

Martin Moeller's Interview

Cindy Kelly:   I’m Cindy Kelly. It is Tuesday, November 27, 2018, and I have with me Martin Moeller. I’d like him to first say his name and spell it.

Martin Moeller: I’m Martin Moeller. M-A-R-T-I-N M-O-E-L-L-E-R.

Kelly:  Great. So tell me: who are you? Why did we invite you here?

Martin Moeller

Martin Moeller is the Senior Curator at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C., where the exhibition “Secret Cities: The Architecture and Planning of the Manhattan Project” opened in 2018. In this interview, Moeller describes the history behind the exhibition and its key themes. He focuses in particular on the role of the firm of Skidmore, Owings, & Merrill in designing Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He also discusses how segregation was built into the Manhattan Project’s secret cities and the Manhattan Project’s legacies for American architecture.

Philip S. Anderson, Jr.'s Interview

Nathaniel Weisenberg: My name is Nate Weisenberg. I am here with the Atomic Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. It is Tuesday, May 22, 2018, and I am here with Philip S. Anderson. My first question for you is if you could please tell me your name and spell it.

Philip S. Anderson: My name is Philip S. Anderson, P-h-i-l-i-p, middle initial S, A-n-d-e-r-s-o-n.

Weisenberg: Why don’t we sort of start at the beginning. Can you tell me when and where you were born?

Philip S. Anderson, Jr.

Philip S. Anderson, Jr. lived in Oak Ridge from his second-grade year through his junior year of high school. His father, an officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, was responsible for housing at Oak Ridge during the Manhattan Project; his mother was active in the Oak Ridge community. In this interview, Anderson remembers his childhood in Oak Ridge, describing the level of secrecy in the city and hikes with his friends. He also recounts his reaction to the bombing of Hiroshima and his fond memories of being a Boy Scout in Oak Ridge.

James Cole's Interview

James S. Cole: I’ll put it this way. I was in Biloxi, Mississippi and getting ready to go overseas as a B-17 engineer. I was on the train getting ready to come here, not knowing I was coming here. An MP came on and said, “You’ve got another set of orders.” I figured I had done something bad, so I went in there and talked to the guy. He said, “You’ve got another set of orders.” He gave it to me. It was a telephone number, Knoxville, Tennessee.

I said, “What kind of orders are those?”

He says, “Get on a train.”

Shigeko Uppuluri's Interview

Cindy Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly. It is Thursday, April 26, 2018. I have with me in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, Shigeko Uppuluri. And my first question for her is to say her name and spell it.

Shigeko Uppuluri: Okay. My name is Shigeko Uppuluri, and I was born in Kyoto in Japan.

Kelly: Don’t forget to spell your name.

Uppuluri: Oh, S-h-i-g-e-k-o, and Uppuluri is an interesting name. U-p-p-u-l-u-r-i.

Kelly: Wonderful. All right. So now continue. Tell us where you were born and when.

Benjamin Bederson's Interview (2018)

Cindy Kelly: My name is Cindy Kelly from the Atomic Heritage Foundation. It is Thursday, February 1, 2018 in New York City. I have with me Benjamin Bederson. I would like to ask him to say his name and spell it, please.

Ben Bederson: I am Benjamin Bederson. Benjamin, B-E-N-J-A-M-I-N, Bederson, B like Boy, E-D like David, E-R-S-O-N.

Kelly:  Great. Ben, we were just chatting about your background and your parents, who came from Russia. Could you talk about your childhood and your parents?

Dieter Gruen's Interview (2018)

Cindy Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly, it is Tuesday, February 6, 2018. I’m in Fort Lauderdale Beach, Florida, and I have with me Dieter Gruen. I want him first to say his name and then spell it.

Dieter Gruen: My name is Dieter Gruen, D-i-e-t-e-r G-r-u-e-n. 

Kelly: Thank you very much. Now, I want to start back to your childhood. Maybe you can tell us when you were born, and where. 

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