Letter To The Editor: What Has Happened To The History Records For Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory?

Santa Fe

I thoroughly enjoyed watching the Christopher Nolan film Oppenheimer. The movie rekindled my interest in the history of those early days at the Los Alamos Laboratory and about the people involved in the Manhattan Project. I searched the internet for more details specifically looking for the dates of the different names for the Lab since its creation in 1943. To my surprise a Google search did not reveal much about the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory (LASL). A wikipedia search for LASL directed me to the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) wikipedia page. By following that link and reading the LANL webpage entitled OUR HISTORY I could not find any reference to Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory. I am angry and offended by this omission!

Los Alamos is my hometown and LASL is an important part of my own history. Everyone who lived in the gated town of Los Alamos was an employee of LASL, ZIA, AEC or was supporting the Lab in some way such as school teachers, doctors, dentists, store owners/workers, and etc. It is not right for Los Alamos National Laboratory to neglect to acknowledge or respect the 34 years when it was Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory.

The dates I was searching for were on the Britannica website: (1943–47) Los Alamos Laboratory, (1947–81) Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory and Los Alamos National Laboratory after 1981. The offending and inaccurate statement from the LANL website states that “LANL began in 1943….” which is NOT TRUE! LANL came into existence in 1981. I cannot find a contact for the Our History website at LANL.gov so I hope someone working there will see this letter and rectify the missing history about Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory and publish it on the history page.


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