The Manhattan Project

Reflections on the Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki

Valeria Steele Roberson's Interview

Cindy Kelly: Tell us about your work and what you’ve learned about the African Americans who worked here in Oak Ridge during the Manhattan Project.

Valeria Steele Roberson: I became interested in this project when I was a little girl. My grandmother used to tell us stories about the ‘40s, how they came here and left their children back in Alabama with their grandmother. She would always talk about giving one day to the bomb, and about the rats, and the plank sidewalks, and all those kinds of things.

Robert S. Norris's Interview (2018)

Robert S. Norris: Right. I’m Robert S. Norris, it’s N-o-r-r-i-s, is the last name. We’re here in Washington in Cindy’s office on February 28th, 2018, to talk about the French atomic program and weapons and so on.

Cindy Kelly: Great. First, I hope that maybe we could start with the whole Curie family’s series of discoveries about radioactivity, and the platform that the French atomic scientific research provided for this.

Tony Essaye's Interview

Cindy Kelly: I am Cindy Kelly. This is Washington, D.C. It is Friday, March 16, 2018. I have with me Tony Essaye. I would like to have Tony say his full name and spell it.

Tony Essaye: Anthony F. Essaye, E-S-S-A-Y-E. It’s like what you write in an exam, except it has an E on the end.

Kelly: Let’s start with your background, when you were born and where, and what your childhood was like.

Ruth Huddleston's Interview

Nathaniel Weisenberg: My name is Nate Weisenberg, and I am here recording this oral history interview for the Atomic Heritage Foundation. It is April 25, 2018. I am here with Ruth Huddleston. If you could start by saying your full name and spelling it, please.

Ruth Huddleston: Ruth Huddleston, H-U-D-D-L-E-S-T-O-N.

Weisenberg: Let’s begin at the beginning. Can you tell me about when and where you were born?

Virginia Coleman's Interview

[Note: This interview contains graphic descriptions of a car accident and a discussion of sexual abuse.]

Nathaniel Weisenberg: My name is Nate Weisenberg. I am here with the Atomic Heritage Foundation. We’re in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. It is Wednesday, April 25, 2018, and I am here with Virginia Coleman. My first question for you is if you could please say your name and spell it. 

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.

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?

Gordon Garrett's Interview

Nathaniel Weisenberg: My name is Nate Weisenberg with the Atomic Heritage Foundation. It is Friday, December 22, 2017, and we’re here in Washington, D.C. with Mr. Gordon Garrett. And my first question for you is if you could please tell me your name and spell it.

Gordon Garrett: My name is Gordon Garrett. That’s G-o-r-d-o-n G-a-r-r-e-t-t.

Weisenberg: Let’s begin at the beginning. Can you tell me when and where you were born?

Garrett: I was born in Johnson City, Tennessee. March 13, 1937.

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