[We would like to thank Robert S. Norris, author of the definitive biography of General Leslie R. Groves, Racing for the Bomb: General Leslie R. Groves, the Manhattan Project's Indispensable Man, for taking the time to read over these transcripts for mispellings and other errors.]
University Involvement in the Manhattan Project
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: After Pearl Harbor?
Oppenheimer: Before Pearl Harbor.
Stephane Groueff: Dr. Anderson?
Herbert Anderson: Yes.
Groueff: Now we can talk?
Anderson: I guess so.
Charney: Where shall I start?
Groueff: Tell me how you got involved in the whole project and your first meeting with all those people and where you came from. Start from the beginning.
Stephane Groueff: Interview with Dr. James Conant. Dr. James Conant, New York, October 11, 1965.
Cindy Kelly: I’m Cindy Kelly from the Atomic Heritage Foundation. It is Friday, April 11, 2014, and I have with me William Lanouette who is going to be talking about Leo Szilard. Why don’t you start by actually saying your full name and spelling it?
Bill Lanouette: I’m William Lanouette, L-A-N-O-U-E-T-T-E.
Kelly: Tell us about Szilard. Who was he? What’s his background?
Cindy Kelly: Okay, my name is Cindy Kelly and I am in south Denver, Colorado. It's June 25th, 2013. And I'm with Fay Cunningham. But the first thing I'm going to do is ask him to tell us his name and spell it.
Cunningham: Fay Cunningham, F-A-Y, C-U-N-N-I-N-G-H-A-M; it's a good old Scottish name.
Kelly: Hey, the Scots are great. Anyway, tell us something about your background.
Cindy Kelly: Okay I am Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation and we are in Mesa, Arizona on June 26, 2013 and with me is Robert or Bob Cantrell. And the first question I have for him is to tell me his name and spell it.
Bob Cantrell: My name as I remember it is Robert Cantrell, R-O-B-E-R-T C-A-N-T-R-E-L-L.
Kelly: And Robert, what year were you born or what was your birth date and where were you born?
Cantrell: I was born January 27, 1921 in Gainesville Texas.
Cindy Kelly: I am Cindy Kelly, Atomic Heritage Foundation, and today’s date is June 6, 2013. And we’re in Cambridge, Massachusetts with Priscilla McMillan. And I have a very easy question to begin with, which is, could you say your name, and spell it?
Priscilla McMillan: My name is Priscilla, P-R-I-S-C-I-L-L-A McMillan, M-C-M-I-L-L-A-N.
Kelly: This is Cindy Kelly, and I am in Boulder, Colorado. It is June 25, 2013, and I am going to be interviewing Bert Mills Tolbert. And the first question for Bert is to say his name, and then spell it?
Tolbert: My name is Bert Mills Tolbert, spelled T-O-L-B-E-R-T.
Kelly: Why don’t you start at the very beginning, and tell us when you were born and where, and then a little bit to lead up to your education and the Manhattan Project?