In 1941, a 15-year-old named Peter Lax and his family escaped Axis-dominated Hungary for America. Three years later, he joined the Manhattan Project. "It was like science fiction," he recalled. "I don't read science fiction, I lived through it."
Thanks to your contributions, in 2016 the Atomic Heritage Foundation was able to preserve and record Peter Lax's story and the stories of many other Manhattan Project veterans. Firsthand accounts are the most compelling way to convey this complex history. As the year comes to a close, please consider making a year-end donation to support this effort.
The preservation of the Manhattan Project is of monumental importance because it helps the world to remember the serious and unfortunate necessity of having the atom bomb.
-James A. Schoke, Manhattan Project veteran, Special Engineer Detachment, University of Chicago Met Lab (1943-1946). Click here to watch an oral history interview with Jim Schoke.
Thanks to your support, in 2016 the Atomic Heritage Foundation:
- Transcribed, edited, and published more than 60 oral history interviews on the "Voices of the Manhattan Project" website. With more than 400 interviews, the "Voices" website has become one of the most comprehensive online collections of Manhattan Project oral histories.
- Wrote 25 new history articles for our main website (AtomicHeritage.org). Among the most popular additions are a detailed list of the planes and crews that participated in the Hiroshima and Nagasaki missions and an article on the Manhattan Project's impact on Native Americans. Our website attracts 90,000 visitors per month, including thousands of middle and high school students.
- Developed more than 3,000 new profiles for the Manhattan Project Veterans Database. The database now has more than 13,000 profiles, including scientists, government officials, technicians, and construction workers. Our database illustrates that the Manhattan Project, in the words of historian Richard Rhodes, was a "great work of human collaboration."
- Created a beta "Ranger in Your Pocket" tour of Los Alamos. These online interpretive programs enable people from around the world to take self-guided tours of Manhattan Project sites. We have also begun work on another "Ranger" program on the Metallurgical Laboratory at the University of Chicago.
In 2017, the Atomic Heritage Foundation will celebrate its 15th anniversary. Your generosity and support has made our accomplishments possible, from our efforts to establish the Manhattan Project National Historical Park to interviewing hundreds of Manhattan Project veterans. Please help us continue to preserve and interpret this important history for future generations.
You can donate online here or send us a check made out to the Atomic Heritage Foundation at 910 17th Street, NW, Suite 408, Washington, DC 20006. Thank you very much!