The Manhattan Project

Richland

Collene Dunbar's Interview

Cynthia Kelly: Okay, why don’t we start by having you tell us your name and spelling it?

Collene Dunbar: My name is Collene Dunbar, C-O-L-L-E-N-E, and it’s pronounced Coll-ene.

Jeffrey Nalezny: And your last name is spelled?

Dunbar: D-U-N-B-A-R.

Nalezny: Thank you.

Kelly: Great! Thank you very much. Now we’re here to talk to about your life, your life in Richland. So can you tell us when you came here and why?

Carol Roberts's Interview

Cynthia Kelly: Start by telling us your name and spelling it.

Carol Roberts: Okay, my name is Carol B. Roberts. C-A-R-O-L, initial B, as in Bobby, R-O-B-E-R-T-S. I came here in June 1944 with my mother and my sisters because my dad had been sent by DuPont out here. That is how I came to be such a smart aleck.

Kelly: Where did you live before?

Collene Dunbar

Collene Dunbar first arrived the Tri-Cities in 1950. She spent her childhood there while her father worked in construction at the Hanford Site. In this interview, she recalls her experiences growing up, and describes local perceptions of Hanford. She details discrimination faced by African Americans, local agriculture, and how the area has changed over the years. Dunbar also recounts her time working in construction and maintenance in the 200 East Area at Hanford, and shares her impressions of how secrecy and security were maintained at the site.

Virginia Ballard

Virginia Ballard was born in Charleston, West Virginia. Her parents immigrated to the US from Scotland. In 1944, Ballard’s family moved to Richland, Washington where her father worked for DuPont. After attending college, Ballard went to work for GE and Exxon Nuclear. Her last job before retirement was as executive secretary to the manager for Siemens. Ballard had two children – Bruce and Diane – with her husband Del.

Carol Roberts

Carol Roberts moved to Hanford with her family in 1944 after her father was hired by DuPont to work as an electrician on the B Reactor. In this interview, she vividly describes life in Richland during the Manhattan Project. Roberts mentions local segregation, dust storms, the housing, social opportunities, and the challenges women faced in raising a family. Roberts champions the role of women in local history, including Leona Marshall Libby’s work on the B Reactor.

Robert Franklin's Interview

Cindy Kelly:   It is Tuesday, September 11, 2018. I’m Cindy Kelly. I have with me Robert Franklin, and my first request is to say your full name and spell it.

Robert Franklin: Sure. My full name is Robert Redder Franklin, R-o-b-e-r-t R-e-d-d-e-r F-r-a-n-k-l-i-n.

Kelly:  Thank you.

Franklin: You’re welcome.

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?

Robert Franklin

Robert Franklin is the assistant director of the Hanford History Project. In this role, he is the archivist and oral historian for the Department of Energy’s Hanford Collection and Washington State University’s collections on Hanford. He attended Washington State University in Pullman and earned his Master’s degree in history. In graduate school, he took a graduate-level seminar on the Hanford oral history project, which sparked his interest in Hanford and the impacts of the Manhattan Project on the rural, agricultural communities in Washington.

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.

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