Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Journeys of Discovery: Legacy of developing the nuclear bomb--Secret City, Atomic City & White Sands

Women arrive for work at Oakridge, Tennessee Manhattan Project during WWII.

Join the journey to explore the past and present of Oakridge, Tennessee—the town that was dubbed Secret City as more than 75,000 workers settled in during WWII to develop the nuclear bomb. We’ll then stop in for a visit at Los Alamos National Labs, New Mexico (dubbed Atomic City) also formed in total secrecy during WWII to develop the first nuclear bomb.

Both towns continue high-tech research for the Department of Energy, including environmental issues, 3-D printing and much more. Not far from Los Alamos is White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico where the first plutonium bomb was detonated at Trinity Site in July 1945. Adjacent is White Sands National Park with the world’s largest array of white sand dunes where we visit with park rangers about cool things to do. This collection of unique destinations was selected as a Best-of-the-Best audio travel series in celebration of Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer’s 31st anniversary producing on-air and digital media travel shows.

At Los Alamos we visit with Linda Deck, Director of the Bradbury Science Museum. At White Sands Missile Range Lisa Blevins, Public Affairs Officer (now retired) shares the history of the facility as well as insights about the annual Bataan Death March Memorial Run held annually in April (virtual for 2021). The reason why the Bataan Death March memorial is held at White Sands was spurred by the fact that more than 1,800 New Mexico National Guardsmen were in the forced march and only 900 of the soldiers survived.

Underwriting support provided by Nashville's Big Back Yard economic initiative focused on rural communities in the southwest quarter of Tennessee and the Shoals Region of Northern Alabama.

You are invited to subscribe to the Lowell Thomas Award-winning podcast travel show, Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer, featured on the NPR Podcast DirectoryiHeartRadioApple Podcast, the NPR One App & Twitter: TomCWilmer. Instagram: Thomas.Wilmer. 

Related Content