WASHINGTON, D.C.—U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander on Tuesday was among those celebrating the formal establishment of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. Alexander said the Manhattan Project paved the way for the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Oak Ridge Corridor, which now attracts “good-paying jobs to the area.”
“Today, we celebrate the Manhattan Project as a unique period in our history,” Alexander said. “But it’s also part of our future because from that effort arose many of the country’s great national laboratories—our secret weapon as we look to the future of keeping our country competitive in the world. I thank Secretary Sally Jewell and Secretary Ernest Moniz and the National Park Service for their work to establish the Manhattan Project National Historical Park.”
Alexander continued: “Almost everyone in the Knoxville area knows something about the Manhattan Project. I was a little boy growing up in Maryville at the time, and I knew people who worked at Oak Ridge—what we called ‘the secret city.’ I didn’t know what they were doing, but today we can see what has come of their work—the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, home to one of the world’s fastest computers and additive manufacturing. The ‘Oak Ridge Corridor’ now symbolizes some of the greatest scientific brainpower in the world. So, for us in the Knoxville area, it is our history—and it is our future.”
Alexander joined Jewell, U.S. interior secretary, and Moniz, U.S. energy secretary, when they signed what’s known as a memorandum of agreement to formally establish the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. Under the agreement, the National Park Service and the Department of Energy will work together to preserve, protect, and provide resources associated with the Manhattan Project.
Over the past 10 years, the Department of Energy and the National Park Service have worked with federal agencies and state and local governments to create the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. Last year, Congress passed the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2015, which included the authorization to establish the park.
The Manhattan Project was a top-secret program to build the world’s first atomic weapons during World War II. The new park includes Oak Ridge and Los Alamos, New Mexico, and Hanford, Washington.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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