Los Alamos To Celebrate Milestone WWII Anniversaries

Title chart from a virtual presentation by LANL Senior Historian Alan Carr. Courtesy/LANL


Los Alamos is known as the place where discoveries are made, but during World War II, it had many names—project Y, the Atomic City, the Secret City, and the town without a name, among others.

Recognized for its integral role in developing the science that ended the war, Los Alamos will be offering a variety of virtual options in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII.

“August and September 2020 are full of milestone dates of international importance, in which Los Alamos played a huge role,” County Marketing Manager Kelly Stewart said. “From the commemoration of the dropping of the atomic bombs on Aug. 6 to the anniversary of V-J Day (the end of WWII in the Pacific) on Aug. 14 (or 15 depending where you are relative to the dateline), to the anniversary of the end of the war on Sept. 2, each of these dates had a huge impact on the world as a whole. In Los Alamos, we’re proud to have been the home of groundbreaking science that led to the end of the war, as well as groundbreaking science that continues to this day, and we invite everyone to celebrate these anniversaries with us—either socially distanced, or virtually.”

While out-of-state visitors are required to quarantine, those visiting in person from the local area can explore the site of the Manhattan Project and discover the secrets of the Secret City by taking a self-guided Historic Walking Tour. Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, visitors are advised to call ahead to ensure facilities are open, and to adhere to social distancing and mask guidelines at all times. In addition to these self-guided tours, the Los Alamos History Museum has created a list of History Hikes, perfect for enjoying the outdoors and learning about the history of Los Alamos, while social distancing.

To make events accessible to all, Los Alamos is offering a variety of virtual learning adventures. The Los Alamos History Museum presents an online overview of the Trinity Test. Additionally, science and history buffs from all over can explore the artifacts of the beloved Bradbury Science Museum online. Celebrating the incredible historical contributions of women in Los Alamos, as well as the centennial anniversary of the women’s right to vote, the Pioneering Women in Los Alamos offers an incredible lesson on the powerful women of the area’s history.

The Manhattan Project National Historical Park Facebook page offers visitors a wealth of information, including historical content, events, and virtual offerings from this National Park site. Leading up to the anniversaries, the page will share stories from the events of 1945. As an interactive part of the anniversary celebrations, participants from across the globe can participate in Messages of Peace, in which they are asked to submit an origami crane with messages of peace to be entered into a time capsule opened in 2045—on the 100th anniversary of the atomic bomb droppings. Explore articles, a timeline of major events, a ranger program regarding the importance of the origami cranes, and more on the Manhattan Project National Historical Park 75th Commemoration website.

For those seeking in-depth information on the Trinity Project, check out two virtual presentations by Los Alamos National Laboratory Senior Historian, Alan Carr:  “Project Trinity: The Myth, The Legend, The Legacy,” which was viewed first by just under 600 Manhattan Project enthusiasts when it debuted live July 8 as part of Los Alamos ScienceFest 2020.

“We can’t wait to welcome out-of-state visitors again, once it’s safe to do so,” Stewart said. “However, our community has been hard at work to ensure that those who would like to visit can still enjoy some of the incredible attractions and view some of the spaces virtually. Until visits can resume, we encourage those from out of state to join us virtually and learn about the history and science that shaped our town—and the history of the world.”

For more information on visiting Los Alamos safely, go to https://visitlosalamos.org/nm-safe-state. For more information on Los Alamos, go to https://visitlosalamos.org.