Proposed Manhattan Project National Historical Park Moves Closer to Designation

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   July 17, 2012
Contact:   Kati Schmidt, National Parks Conservation Association: 415-728-0840; mobile: 415-847-1768
Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation: 202-293-0045
Heather McClenahan, Los Alamos Historical Society: 505-662-6272
Jessica Pumphrey, National Trust for Historic Preservation: 202-294-9187


Proposed Manhattan Project National Historical Park Moves Closer to Designation

Washington, DC – On July 11, the House Natural Resources Committee approved by unanimous consent the bill to establish the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, H.R. 5987.

The proposed park has strong bipartisan, bicameral support. Congressman Doc Hastings (R-WA), Congressman Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN) and Congressman Ben Lujan (D-NM) were co-sponsored for the House bill. Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Tom Udall (D-NM), and Patty Murray (D-WA) acted as original co-sponsors for the Senate bill, S.3300.

The basis for the 3-unit park includes three laboratories central to the Manhattan Project, Los Alamos, New Mexico; Oak Ridge, Tennessee; and Hanford, Washington.

Like other intricate events in history, the Manhattan Project raises important issues that are as relevant today as they were 70 years ago. “At its heart, the story of the Manhattan Project is an American story,” said Heather McClenahan, executive director of the Los Alamos Historical Society.  “It is a story about creativity and about destruction. It is a science story, a soldier’s story, a spy story, and a human story. The history of the Manhattan Project is one that, from the perspectives of all who participated and all who were affected, must be told.”

In recognition of its importance, the National Trust for Historic Preservation has listed the Manhattan Project as a National Treasure. As a National Treasure, the Manhattan Project will be among a number of other irreplaceable, critically threatened places across the country which the National Trust is taking direct action to protect. For more information on this and other National Treasures, visit www.savingplaces.org/.

“Anyone who has visited the national park units located at Little Bighorn, Manzanar, or Little Rock Central High School understands that these national parks are authentic sites – the places where history happened – and not necessarily places of celebration,” said Nancy Tinker, senior field officer at the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “History is often fraught with complexity.”

“A National Park site would put the atomic bomb in a historical context,” said Cindy Kelly, president of the Atomic Heritage Foundation. “This history reflects the many ways that nuclear science has changed the course of history.”

For nearly 100 years, the National Park Service has connected millions of individuals to our nation’s historical and natural heritage. “There are few, if any, stories from the 20th Century more important than the Manhattan Project in defining who we are today,” said Ron Tipton, senior vice president at the National Parks Conservation Association. “With the creation of this historic park in three locations around the country, the National Park Service can help generations of world citizens understand and learn from the significance of this turning point in world history.”

The following organizations are partnering to make the designation of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park a reality. To find out more information about the Manhattan Project and proposed park, visit:
www.atomicheritage.org
http://www.npca.org/manhattan-project
http://www.losalamoshistory.org/
http://savingplaces.org/treasures/manhattan-project-historic-sites

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