In 1938, scientists discovered nuclear fission. Scientists warned President Roosevelt that Germany might use this new technology to build a bomb. The project to build a bomb in the United States was codenamed “The Manhattan Project,” and led by Gen. Leslie Groves. The scientists were based at Los Alamos, N.M., led by Dr. Robert Oppenheimer.
Uranium and plutonium were enriched at labs in Oak Ridge, TN, and Hanford, WA. On August 6, 1945, the first uranium bomb, called “Little Boy,” was dropped on Hiroshima, Japan. On August 9, the first plutonium bomb, called “Fat Man,” was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan.
(Gen. Leslie R. Groves and J. Robert Oppeneheimer lead the Manhattan Project. George C. Marshall Foundation photo)
To find items that the Marshall Foundation has on the atomic bomb, search “atomic bomb” in the library catalog: https://www.marshallfoundation.org/library/results/
Digitized items in the George C. Marshall Foundation archives on the atomic bomb: