Tom Ryan: In the early morning of August 6, 1945, three B-29 bombers departed from Tinian Island in the Pacific Ocean. Six hours later, they changed the course of history. A single atomic bomb dropped from the Enola Gay exploded over Hiroshima, Japan. In an instant, over four square miles of the city and an estimated 90,000 of its inhabitants ceased to exist.
Martin Sherwin: This is Martin Sherwin. I'll be interviewing Sir Rudolf Peierls at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Today's date is June 6th, 1979.
You first met [J.Robert] Oppenheimer in Zurich in 1929?
Rudolf Peierls: Right, yes.
Sherwin: At that time, I think you mentioned you were working with [Wolfgang] Pauli's group?
Sherwin: Who else was there in that group?
Stephane Groueff: [Enrico] Fermi had the characteristics of a real genius.
Colonel Franklin Matthias: Almost every time you would get in contact with him, something would come up that was impressive. Physically, he was a small man, unimpressive person, but he grew real large when he started talking about things he knew.
Groueff: Was he a friendly person?
Matthias: Yes, warm; very warm, very friendly, a real nice person.
Isabella Karle: Isabella Karle. I-S-A-B-E-L-L-A K-A-R-L-E
Cindy Kelly: Terrific. Could you tell us how you happened to become part of the Manhattan Project?
Ralph Lapp: I am Ralph Lapp, L-A-P-P. I am a physicist, nuclear physicist, an author, and a consultant. I have engaged in finance and technology.
Interviewer: Great. What can you tell us about your role in the Manhattan Project?
Stephane Groueff: It is working. Mr. Stapleton, you were with security during the Hanford period, or you were already here with security in DuPont in Wilmington?
Newton Stapleton: I was in the security prior to Hanford. At the beginning of the war, DuPont got involved in building a plant for the French and British down at Memphis, Tennessee. Then as our country became more involved, we got involved in trying to please or satisfy the government from the Air Force, the Army, the Navy, the Coast Guard and everything.
Roger Rasmussen: Hi, I am Roger Rasmussen. That is R-A-S-M-U-S-S-E-N. I am the son of Rasmus. That is what it means. It is Danish. My dad came from Denmark.
Cindy Kelly: When were you born?
Stephane Groueff: Hello. Colonel Matthias, if you can tell me the story of how the plutonium was shipped.
Colonel Franklin Matthias: Is this good enough.
Groueff: Yeah, it is good enough. The plutonium was shipped from Hanford to—?
Matthias: To Los Alamos.
Groueff: To Los Alamos.
Carl Higby: My name is Carl Higby. Last name spelled H-I-G-B-Y. Carl with a C.
Tell us how and when you came to Hanford.
Higby: Well, in 1950 when I graduated at Washington State University, a recruiter was visiting the WSU campus and made a job offer. It turns out that was the only job offer got, so I came here. Had to wait after graduation until I received my security clearance, that was an essential first step. That came through and I arrived here on my birthday, in July 1950.
Gabriel Bohnee: My name is Gabriel Bohnee. I'm Nez Perce tribal member, work for the Nez Perce’s tribe Environmental Restoration and Waste Management Office as an environmental specialist.
How'd you first learn about the Hanford site?