The Time a Cleveland Newspaper Divulged the Manhattan ProjectBreaking News
tags: Manhattan Project, press
The Manhattan Project was, the director of the Office of Censorship once said, the "best-kept single secret of the war," as The New York Times put it in a piece that ran on August 9, 1945, the day of the bombing of Nagasaki.
And how remarkable this secrecy was! With some 130,000 people involved in building the bomb, how is it possible this story didn't leak out?
Well, as nuclear historian Alex Wellerstein documents frequently at his invaluable site Restricted Data, the secrecy of the Manhattan Project was not all it is cracked up to be. Wellerstein says that the fact that "the Army was working on a new super-weapon that involved atomic energy" was something of an "open secret" in Washington prior to the bomb's use, and, moreover, there were numerous press reports that gave information about the project.
But there is one that stands out, Wellerstein writes, and that is a report from The Cleveland Press, by columnist John W. Raper, who happened upon the clandestine city of Los Alamos, a year and a half before bombs would fall on Japan.
"Forbidden City" the headline proclaimed. It continued: "Uncle Sam's Mystery Town Directed by '2d Einstein.'"...
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