During World War II, the nation’s top scientists convened at a classified laboratory in the remote town of Los Alamos, New Mexico to develop the first nuclear weapons.Although many details of the Manhattan Project remain secret, The Los Alamos National Laboratory has compiled rare footage of life in Los Alamos after it was acquired by the U.S. Army as the headquarters for the construction of the atomic bomb in 1943.
“The personal of the story has rarely been told. It’s always about building bombs, and time-tables and budgets and everything else. To look at this film and see all of these great scientists skiing and so on, really brings the human story to life,” LANL historian Alan Carr told us.
You can watch parts of the video at Albuquerque’s KOAT Channel 7 or check out our slideshow version.
In 1943, as the war raged in Europe, scientists descended on the mesa-top town of Los Alamos, New Mexico to engage in a top-secret experiment.
The town was chosen for its remote location and surrounding canyons that were ideal for nuclear tests.
Among many important duties, Serber was tasked with educating workers about the goals of the Manhattan Project. He also created code names for each bomb design.
Check out German-American nuclear physicist Hans Bethe skiing in the Spring. He later went on to win a Nobel Prize.
Because there were no ski resorts or lifts, the head of the explosives division used bombs to clear some of the trees.
The world's first atomic bomb exploded at 5:29 a.m. on July 6, 1945, at the Trinity Site. It was a success.
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