APRIL 11, 2013
The Last Eight Days of World War II: What Really Ended the War - Bill Wilcox, Oak Ridge City Historian
Most Oak Ridgers know the story of Oak Ridge's founding in 1942 as part of the Manhattan Project and about how the uranium 235 for the world's first atomic bomb used in warfare, Little Boy, helped end World War II. Helped is correct. The two atomic bombs really did help, but even after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there was no agreement in Japan's ruling circle on surrender.
What Bill Wilcox, our City Historian, told about at ORHPA's public meeting on April 11, 2013, at 7:00 PM in the Wildcat Den, was amazing and added to our knowledge of that very special time in history. Bill described the agonizing and tortuous days for the Japanese Supreme Council and their Emperor between Monday, August 6, 1945, and the Tuesday of the following week, August 14, 1945, when the PEACE finally came. While Oak Ridgers welcomed the peace, they were astounded by the details of their own personal role in helping bring that peace about.
This story of the Japanese struggle to a decision of surrender is often missed, like those that miss the potential deaths from an invasion of the Japanese mainland. The Allied forces were attempting anything they could think of to end the awful killing of World War II.
It was thought that Russia would soon declare war on Japan. The Potsdam Conference, just ended, resulted in a demand for "Unconditional Surrender." The situation was complicated to say the least.
Bill told us the details of this situation as the Japanese leadership struggled with the decision to surrender or to remain true to their militarist's commitment to fight to the death!
March 28, 2013
SPECIAL EVENT: An Evening with PRESIDENT TRUMAN's GRANDSON - Clifton Truman Daniel
Clifton Truman Daniel spoke at the New Hope Center (602 Scarboro Road, Oak Ridge, TN.) on Thursday, March 28, 2013.
Tickets were $20 and could be purchased (beginning Monday, February 18) online by clicking the underlined link that follows: Purchase tickets online to Clifton Truman Daniel event (online purchased tickets were available for pick up at the door).
Tickets were also available to be purchased at The Ferrell Shop at 235 Jackson Square (beginning Monday, February 25).
The approximately 140 people who attended the event heard President Truman's grandson, Clifton Truman Daniel, tell about his life including his memories of his famous grandfather, his impressions of how President Truman felt regarding his decision to use the Atomic bomb to end World War II and what his life has been like living in the shadow of all that comes with being President Harry S. Truman's grandson!
FEATURE PRESENTATION: 7:00 PM at the New Hope Center in the Zach Wamp Auditorium
RECEPTION: Following the Feature Presentation in the New Hope Center lobby (personally met President Truman's grandson, Clifton Truman Daniel!)
This event was highly successful! To view photos of the evening, go to: Photos of Clifton Truman Daniel event on 3-28-13
NOTE: Presentation visuals available from previous meetings may be viewed online at the "Meetings" page.
A 90th BIRTHDAY celebration planned for Bill Wilcox on Friday, January 25, at 3 - 5 PM, at the American Museum of Science and Energy HAS BEEN POSTPONED. The event will be rescheduled and plan to help us celebrate.
NOTICE: There is no membership meeting in February, enjoy Valentines day with family and/or friends.
March 19, 2013
Denise Kiernan's book, "The Girls of Secret City" has just hit the New York Times Bestseller List at #33!!!
On Tuesday, March 19, 2013, a joint event with Oak Ridge Heritage & Preservation Association and the Friends of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory was held at the American Museum of Science and Energy at 6 PM. There were over 300 people in attendance.
Denise Kiernan told about the excitement she holds for the women of Oak Ridge who are "THE GIRLS OF ATOMIC CITY." You will never look at our local women the same again. We now better appreciate the GIANT roles they played in the most significant technological event of the 20th Century...and maybe even the history of the world. Right here in our local stores, you walk beside heroes daily.
Denise is a gifted storyteller and she has developed a close and dear affection for the ladies she interviewed for the book. She has grown to be so close to some of them that they now look forward to her visits like she is family.
June 14, 2012
NO Meeting - Seciret City Festival
May 10, 2012
April 12, 2012
"Yak" and "Stitch"
Barbara "Stitch" was born in Oak Ridge and is the daughter of Ruth and the late John Reeve. She is a Veterinarian and owner of Jackson Square Animal Clinic here in Oak Ridge.
Paul "Yak" was also born and raised in Oak Ridge, son of Jane and Lawrence Akers who currently live in Chattanooga. Paul is a retired machinist having retired from Y-12 last Feb, one month before their AT hike began in March.
They consider their hike from Georgia to Maine a Wander of Wonders with the ultimate goal of completing the AT in one season to become "thru-hikers".
The trip was 2,181 miles and took them 6 &1/2 months, proving that everywhere is walking distance if you have enough time.
Come and experience their thru hike in photos at the Oak Ridge Heritage and Preservation's Midtown Community Center at 7:00 PM on April 12, 2012. You will be glad you did. Not only is their hiking experience enviable, their photographs of wildflowers will make you envy them thier time and patience.
March 9, 2012
The Oak Ridge Public Library brings books and history to the cyber world
Susan stooksbury, assistant director of the Oak Ridge Public Library, will be the featured speaker this Thursday, March 8, at the Oak Ridge Heritage & Preservation Association (ORHPA) monthly meeting. She will discuss the library's new service, downloadable eBooks and Audiobooks. Stooksbury will demonstrate new features of the library's web page and how to navigate around the digital media page. The meeting will begain at 7 p.m. at the Midtown Community Center, also known as the AWildcat Den, located at 102 Robertsville Road.
Stuooksbury will also include updates on teh Oak Ridge Room and the continuing oral history projects at the library. The Oak Ridge Heritage & Preservation Association and the local chapter of the American Association of University Women each have undertaken orah history projects, as well as the city's oral history project. Each of thes project's interview tapes are available for listening in the Oak Ridge Room. These tapes offer a wealth of information about life in this area nda are a valuable part of the library's historical collection.
Susan Stooksbury came to Oak Ridge in 1955 as a child with her family. In addition to being the library’s assistant director, she writes the Reader’s Guide column, which appears weekly in the Oak Ridger. Stooksbury and her husband have five Golden Retrievers, all adopted from Heartland Golden Retriever Rescue of which she is a founding member. She also works with HABIT (Human and Animal Bond in Tennessee), a program established at the University of Tennessee Veterinary school that certifies volunteers to take their dogs to nursing homes, assisted living facilities and schools.
ORHPA is a non-profit organization formed for the purposes of preventing further demolition of our historic structures and the loss of our unique history. The mission of ORHPA is to preserve Oak Ridge's history and its built environment and develop economic, education, and cultural resources for the benefit of present and future generations. For more information, please call 865- 481-0542 or visit www.ORHPA.com.
February 9, 2012
A National Park in Oak Ridge?
Come hear the latest about the coming-closer Manhattan Project National Historical Park from the Department of Energy Oak Ridge Operation’s local "point person" to the National Park Service and others working on the national park legislation and eventual implementation. Colin D. Colversonis an attorney in the DOE-ORO's Office of the Chief Counsel where in addition to serving DOE as their Champion on the Park, focuses on environmental, real estate, safety and health, and cultural resource issues.
His undergraduate work was completed at the University of Florida in environmental policy. After several years in that field he earned his Law degree from the University of South Carolina. He moved to Oak Ridge in 2009 where he recently purchased an original Cemestos "B" house.
This is an unusual chance to hear someone address questions about the potential national park that is right up to date on where things stand on this important possibility. Plan to be there. Hear someone who knows better than most of us the challenges that we face to preserve and “show and tell” our very unique heritage for the benefit of our City’s Heritage Tourism. His talk is titled A National Park in Oak Ridge? The Possibility of a Manhattan Project National Historical Park and the Potential Outcomes for Oak Ridge.
Do come and bring a friend to hear Atty. Colverson next Thursday night at 7 PM, February 9th, in the Wildcat Den of the Midtown Community Center/ORHPA Building, Oak Ridge Turnpike at Robertsville Road. The public is most welcome.
November 10, 2011
Jackson Square: A piece of the Bigger Picture
Kathryn Baldwin, Oak Ridge City Community Development Director, has more than 25 years
of experience in community planning. She oversees both the code and planning
divisions within the Community Development Department. Kathryn has served as
the Chair of the Local Government Planning Advisory Committee for eight years
and also heads the Knoxville chapter of the American Planning Association
(APA). She has many years of dedicated service to the planning community
through her leadership roles in the Tennessee Chapter of the American Planning
Ms. Baldwin received her undergraduate degree in Geography in 1978 and a M.A. in Geography
in 1985 from East TN State University.
Her presentation to the Oak Ridge Heritage and Preservation Association will focus
on broad based redevelopment in the Jackson Square District, from Roane State
to Broadway Avenue. Revitalization of Jackson Square is expected to improve the connectivity of the Square
to the larger Oak Ridge Historic District, increase mobility and provide better
access to local small businesses and cultural activities.
Enhancements to Jackson Square will benefit the community, but also commuters who are
employed by major employers in the area, such as Methodist Medical Center,
Bectel Jacobs, Appalachian Underwriters, and Roane State.
Ms. Baldwin’s presentation will be held in the Midtown Community Center at 102 Robertsville
Road at 7:00 PM on Thursday, November 10, 2011.
The public is encouraged to attend and learn more about the short term
and long range plans for Oak Ridge’s original townsite, Jackson Square, and the
area surrounding this historic site.
October 13, 2011
September 8, 2011
We had a special three part event scheduled.
At 5:00 PM we participated in the dedication of the four new plaques commemorating the "Birth of Our City." The ceremony was held at the Oak Ridge City Municipal Building near the north entrance.
Secondly, we attended a reception at 6:00 PM and the dedication of the conference center at East Tennessee Technology Park's Heritage Center. John Echenberg, of DOE ORO, dedicated the conference center at 6:30 PM.
Finally, we held our normal monthly meeting at the conference center at 7:00 PM. Our speaker at the regular monthly meeting was Patrick McIntyre. McIntyre became the executive director of the Tennessee Historical Commission (THC) in 2007. He also serves as the State Historic Preservation Officer. As director for the Commission, he oversees a nearly $3 million dollar budget for the state agency responsible for the preservation and interpretation of Tennessee’s historical and cultural heritage. He last spoke to our organization nine years ago.
McIntyre discussed the Tennessee Historical Commission and noted the numerous historic artifacts that are the responsibility of the commission to track. He also pointed out the few National Landmark sites and encouraged consideration of others.
Our speaker on July 14, 2011, was Bill Wilcox, Oak Ridge City Historian and retired Technical Director of Y-12 and K-25.
Over the past few years, the Guest House / Alexander Inn has received a lot of press, a lot of interest, and a lot of questions. On Thursday, July 14, City Historian Bill Wilcox presented a talk during the Oak Ridge Heritage & Preservation monthly meeting and discussed why Oak Ridge needs to save this historic site.
Wilcox gave insights into the history of the Guest House / Alexander Inn, and cited reasons why it is among the most significant historical artifacts in Oak Ridge’s history. Attendees learned why the building is a keystone element in interpreting the Secret City’s Manhattan Project history as a part of the proposed Manhattan Project National Historical Park, which will be located in Oak Ridge, Los Alamos, NM, and Hanford, WA.
According to Wilcox, “This is one of our historic City's now rare relics from our Manhattan Project founding days that could be turned from an eyesore to both an appealing tourism destination and a key part of a rejuvenated larger area of our City.”
Attendees were encouraged to contribute their own ideas and to join in the effort to save this icon of Oak Ridge history.
Manhattan Project National Historic Park
UPDATE (7/18/11): The Manhattan Project National Historical Park Study was submitted to congress on 7/13/11 by Ken Salazar, Department of Interior. This is a major step. Next will be the legislation needed to form the park. Following that a "management study" will be performed by the National Park Service.
Here is a link to the full press release: http://www.doi.gov/news/pressreleases/Salazar-Seeks-to-Commemorate-Manhattan-Project-through-New-National-Historical-Park.cfm
Previous update: The Department of Energy has signed a letter of concurrence with the National Park Service's study! This is good news and moves us one step closer to having a Manhattan Project National Historical Park with locations in Oak Ridge, TN, Los Alamos, NM, and Hanford, WA.
The National Park Service has completed a Special Resource Study on the feasibility of forming a Manhattan Project National Historical Park.
The full study document (DRAFT Environmental Assessment) can be viewed here: Full National Park Service DRAFT Special Resource Study Document
Other National Park Service Study related links: Oak Ridger article by Bill Wilcox; Oak Ridger article by Ray Smith; Atomic Heritage Foundation links; Manhattan Project Sites DRAFT Special Resource Study/Environmental Assessment web site 5 and X-10 Clinton Engineer Works project sites in 1943 - 1945 culminating in the winning of the greatest war the world has ever known.
The city of Oak Ridge has a unique history and the ORHPA is proud to be a key element in its preservation. Heritage Tourism in Oak Ridge is growing in stature and importance. We ner inual Secret City Festival and other heritage events.
|American Museum of Science and Energy|
|Children's Museum of Oak Ridge|
|City of Oak Ridge|
|DOE Sites: K-25(ETTP) X-10(ORNL) Y-12|
|Oak Ridge Associated Universities|
|Oak Ridge Convention and Visitor's Bureau|
|Oak Ridge History|
|Oak Ridge Historical Markers|
|Secret City: The Oak Ridge Story Documentary Film|
|Secret City History|
|Southern Appalachian Railroad Museum|
|Wheat Community African American Burial Ground|
|The Secret City Store (Purchase unique Secret City items - mugs, puzzles, DVD's)|