The Manhattan Project

Life in the Secret Cities

J. Robert Oppenheimer's Interview

Stephane Groueff: I want to start from the beginning. My book, I intend to start with the year 1942 because otherwise, there is no limit. A few months before the Manhattan District and decision to go—

J. Robert Oppenheimer: The decision was actually made on December 6, to take the thing seriously.

Groueff: ’41?

Oppenheimer: Right.

Groueff: After Pearl Harbor?

Oppenheimer: Before Pearl Harbor.

William E. Tewes' Interview (September 2013)

Cindy Kelly: This is Cindy Kelly. It is September 6, 2013. I am in Oak Ridge, Tennessee with Bill Tewes. So Bill, can you tell us your name and spell it?

Tewes: Sure. My name is William Edward Tewes. And the first and second names are obvious, but to spell my last name, it is T-E-W-E-S. My father and my children all pronounce it “Tewes.” The rest of my older family, including my grandparents, pronounced it “Teweys.” And my Uncle Elmer would remark, “Any fool should know it’s pronounced Teweys because there are two E’s in the name.”

Herman Snyder's Interview

Herman Snyder: My name is Herman Snyder, H-E-R-M-AN S-N-Y-D-E-R. 

Cindy Kelly: Great, good job. All right, now, maybe we can pick up the thread of that story. If you can tell us your experience, and compress it a little bit because I want to spend most of the time talking about your experience here at Oak Ridge and K-25. But I do like the idea that you were, you know, shoved away, that you were in this place with all these tests, and, you know, provocative. That was good. I think that’s interesting.

Winston Dabney's Interview (2003)

Winston Dabney: I’m Winston Dabney. I was born in Virginia, near Richmond, Virginia. I was inducted into the service on July 4, 1941. I was warned as I was going in, “Go for one year and then get out.” And it so happened I had about six months before the war actually started and I received my basic training. I went in at Fort Belmont, North Carolina because I was working down in North Carolina at the time.

Lawrence S. Myers, Jr.'s Interview

Cindy Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation, and it is Wednesday, July 22, 2014. Today I’m with Lawrence S. Myers, Jr. to talk about his Manhattan Project experience. I would like to start by asking Larry to tell me his full name and spell it please. 

Lawrence Myers: My full name, Lawrence Stanley Myers, Jr. L-A-W-R-E-N-C-E, S-T-A-N-L-E-Y, M-Y-E-R-S. I’m not sure I know how to spell “Junior.” It’s just J-R. 

Rose Bethe's Interview

Cindy Kelly: I'm Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation, and I'm in Ithaca, New York. It is Wednesday, June 11, 2014. And I have with me Rose Bethe. And I'm going to start by asking Rose to tell us her name and spell it.

Rose Bethe: My name is Rose Bethe. It's spelled B as in boy, E, T as in Tom, H, E.

Nicholas Metropolis' Interview

Richard Rhodes: There are two particular themes that I am interested in that I know you were involved with very much. Anything else that you remember that you would want to talk about would be wonderful. One is the developing of computing. Los Alamos made a major contribution to the development of computing in the world. The other has to do with the period around the invention of the two-stage thermonuclear weapon. Could you talk about your experience with those things?

William Lowe's Interview

William Lowe:  I was born in Bartlesville, Oklahoma in the year 1920. Within a few years, my parents had moved to Westfield, New Jersey, where I grew up. But upon reaching 18, I went to college at Purdue University. It was 700 miles from home. By train, it took a day. 

I would say that my 93 years have been dominated by atomic bombs, war, in particular World War II, and later by people uses of atomic energy. What I will do is try to convey, more or less chronologically, what happened.

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