The Oak Ridge Heritage and Preservation Association will celebrate two history-related events this month: the opening of the Oak Ridge city gates 70 years ago and the opening of a new museum, the Oak Ridge History Museum.
The celebration is scheduled for Saturday, March 23.
The new museum was established to preserve the history of the life and work of the people who made the Manhattan Project a success, a press release said. The primary purpose of the museum is to focus on the “human side” of the Manhattan Project, telling the story of the history of Oak Ridge and the people’s day-to-day lives during World War II. The Manhattan Project was a top-secret federal program to build the world’s first atomic weapons during World War II.
The Oak Ridge History Museum exhibits feature a unique collection of authentic artifacts and displays, including historic photographs made by Ed Westcott, the famous Manhattan Project photographer in Oak Ridge.
For seven years, Oak Ridge was a “secret city” behind guarded gates and thus little known and not well understood, the press release said. The Oak Ridge History Museum seeks to educate the public about Oak Ridge.
The March 23 celebration will begin at 11 a.m. with the cutting of the ribbon, officially opening the Oak Ridge History Museum, followed by refreshments and a presentation on the city gate opening events at noon.
The program will highlight the events of the historic gate opening with a reunion of those who witnessed this monumental event in the history of Oak Ridge, the press release said. There will be people present to relate their experiences from this historic day and to answer questions beginning at 1 p.m. All who were present at this historic event are invited to come and participate, the release said.
As part of the program, swing dancers will perform 1940s-era dancing at 2 p.m.
The Museum is located at the historic Midtown Community Center, an authentic Manhattan Project-era structure that once housed the historic Wildcat Den. It is located at the intersection of the Oak Ridge Turnpike and Robertsville Road, adjacent to Kroger and across from Bissel Park.
ORHPA is a 501(3)c nonprofit organization.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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