The City of Oak Ridge has been designated a World War II Heritage City, the only city in Tennessee to receive that designation.
The National Park Service has notified the city of the designation, Oak Ridge said in a press release Tuesday.
“The American World War II Heritage Cities Program honors the contributionsâ€¯of local towns, cities, (and) counties,â€¯and commemorates the stories of the men, women, and children whose bravery and sacrifices shaped the U.S. home front during World War II, and still impact our nation today,” the press release said. “Only one American World War II Heritage City can be designated in each state or territory. Oak Ridge played a critical role in history and has been designated Tennesseeâ€™s American World War II Heritage City through the program.â€¯”
Oak Ridge was a key production site during World War II as part of the top-secret Manhattan Project, a federal program to build the world’s first atomic weapons, before Germany could. Among other work, Oak Ridge enriched uranium for the first atomic bomb used in wartime and had the first reactor to make plutonium-239. A plutonium sample was sent to scientific facilities at Los Alamos, New Mexico, and more of that isotope, the fuel used in the second bomb, was produced at Hanford, Washington.[Read more…]