Trinity test photographer Jack Aeby. Courtesy/Los Alamos Historical Society
HISTORICAL SOCIETY News:
Because of high demand, a second bus has been secured for Saturday’s Trinity Site Tour and some seats remain available. There will be stops in Pojoaque, Santa Fe and Albuquerque.
Reservations close Wednesday. The cost is $100 for members and $150 for non-members.
On July 16, 1945, the first man-made nuclear explosion detonated in the pre-dawn darkness in the high desert ranchland about 30 miles southeast of Socorro.
It has been 69 years, but some hale and hearty guys who participated in that test are still around, and two of them have agreed to accompany a tour to Trinity Site for the April 5 public opening, one of only two days each year the site is open.
This rare chance to rub shoulders with history is a fund-raising effort for the Los Alamos Historical Society as it is launching into major long-term enterprises in historic preservation and interpretation for the future.
This one-day excursion aboard a comfortable, restroom-equipped coach departs from Los Alamos at 6:30 a.m. and includes lunch in Socorro. Experienced tour direction is by Buffalo Tours, leading its 11th trip to Trinity.
Entering through the Stallion Range Station of the White Sands Missile Range, the road to Trinity winds 15 miles to Ground Zero. A quarter mile walk from the parking lot is the epicenter where only a twisted concrete and metal footing remains of the 100 ft. tall tower where the gadget was detonated.
Buses take visitors three miles to the restored McDonald Ranch House, where the nuclear core was inspected and assembled. Exhibits about the 1945 atomic test and the story of the people who ranched there before World War II now occupy the rooms.
On-board eyewitnesses to Trinity include Jack Aeby, who is best known for snapping the only color photo of the test, and Manhattan Project veteran Roger Rasmussen. Find out their stories, and experience the camaraderie of fellow time-travelers by making reservations.
Call the Historical Society at 505.662.6272, or by visiting the Historical Museum at 1050 Bathtub Row. Cost is $100 per person for Los Alamos Historical Society members. Non-member cost is $150 per person. The deadline for signup is March 28.