Oak Ridge

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A town with a significant place in American history as the Birthplace of the Atomic Bomb, this pictorial history takes a visual journey pre-war and post. Nestled in the foothills of East Tennessee, 25 miles west of Knoxville, is a small town bordered on three sides by the Clinch River. The land first existed under other names - Elza, Robertsville, Scarboro, and Wheat - but in 1942, 59,000 acres of this unassuming rural land were transformed in a matter of weeks into a "secret city" that became known as the mysterious Manhattan District. As a direct result of the letter written by Albert Einstein to President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1939, the Manhattan District was created to develop new atomic weapons. Finally named Oak Ridge in 1943 and now thriving with a population of over 27,000, the town continues to be a significant center for the advancement of science and technology used throughout the world. In this pictorial history, photographs and personal descriptions guide readers on a visual journey of the construction of a city and the creation of the atomic bomb, to the post-war transformation of Oak Ridge into a major scientific community in the South.