Thanksgiving feast preparation in the kitchen at Camp Hanford. Courtesy/AHF
A typical Manhattan Project era Thanksgiving meal. Courtesy/AHF
Manhattan Project workers around the country were usually not allowed to travel home for vacation – even for Thanksgiving.
Top scientists had important meetings on Thanksgiving, preventing them from spending the holiday with family. The communities banded together to celebrate Thanksgiving. New traditions were begun, new friends made, and a good meal was had by all. In these stories, Manhattan Project veterans and family members recalls the unique Thanksgivings they shared during World War II.
My father said something that he certainly shouldn’t have, but he didn’t know any better. He said, “Crawford is out working on a bomb so terrible that it will end the war.” There was silence. My sister Margaretta [Crawford’s wife] didn’t react, but the subject wasn’t discussed.
Bob Porton (Los Alamos): There were certain people who were so good to the GI’s at Thanksgiving and Christmas and Sundays, you’d be invited to a Sunday dinner. My first Christmas here and couple of Thanksgivings, there were certain kinds of civilians that just went out of their way to invite GI’s into their homes for a dinner.
Source: Atomic Heritage Foundation