Japan was one of the Axis powers in World War II. Its attack on Pearl Harbor, HI, on December 7, 1941 brought the US formally into the war. Japan also attacked British, Dutch, and American possessions in the Southwest Pacific around the same time.
[Many thanks to Claude Lyneis for donating this footage to the Atomic Heritage Foundation.]
Narrator: About seventy-five miles northwest of Walla Walla, Washington, in an isolated expanse of open desert, civilization entered into a new age, an age from which it would never emerge the same. Here, in the home of the Wanapum Indians, the terrain is mostly scrubland, laced here and there by cheatgrass, greasewood, and Russian thistle.
Martin Sherwin: Did you know Robert [Oppenheimer] when he was going out with Jean Tatlock?
Chevalier: Yes, but I don’t think I ever saw them together.
Sherwin: When we first spoke over the phone, you called me from the airport about three or four years ago. I was living in Princeton, New Jersey.
Chevalier: Oh, yes. Yes, that’s right.
General Kenneth Nichols: —found we did not have the authority to satisfy DuPont.
Stephane Groueff: But why did DuPont challenge your authority?
Nichols: Because they had trouble, in World War I, being called munitions makers and investigated after World War I, so they are more conservative than most companies. And they wanted to have in their files copies of our authorities. And what we had, which I have shown you, and that is satisfactory to them.
Groueff: I see.
Cindy Kelly: My name is Cindy Kelly with the Atomic Heritage Foundation. It is January 8, 2016, and I am in New York City with Peter Lax. My first question for him is to say his name and spell it.
Peter Lax: Peter Lax, spelled L-A-X.
Kelly: Great, thank you. So I would love to have you talk, just a little bit anyway, about your childhood and your parents.
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.
Martin Sherwin: This is Martin Sherwin. I am on my way to interview Professor Robert Christy in his office at 423 Downs on the Caltech Campus in Pasadena, California, March 30th, 1983.
You were a student of his?
Robert Christy: I was a graduate student of [J. Robert] Oppenheimer’s from the fall of 1937 until the spring of 1941 when I got my degree, my PhD degree in theoretical physics in Berkeley.
Sherwin: What did you do your dissertation on?
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.
Richard Rhodes: I really am going to have to go through and revise the Perseus discussion, I think.
Robert Lamphere: It’s got Lona [Cohen] and the tissue thing. I think it became a story that she told. But who’s to know?
I just found that Greenglass’s information on implosion was the first news the Soviets had of it. I just found that fascinating because I learned something.
Rhodes: It’s probably the reason they were willing to cross the two nets.
Ruth Kerr Jakoby: My name is Dr. Ruth Kerr Jakoby. J-A-K-O-B-Y. I was born September 2, 1929. I am eighty-five years old. On September 2, I will be eighty-six.
Alex Wellerstein: My birthday is September 5, so we can both be Virgos together. Where were you born?
Jakoby: Palo Alto, California.
Wellerstein: You said you have a doctorate? What is your field in?
Wellerstein: Oh, wow!