Department of Energy

Barrier Breakers: Celebrating the Women of the Manhattan Project

March 1, 2018

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Secretary Perry's Women's History Month Message

Happy Women's History Month! 

As Secretary Perry says in his video message, women have made essential contributions at the Department of Energy dating all the way back to the 1940s and the Manhattan Project -- the top-secret mission to develop the world's first nuclear weapon that helped end World War II 

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the beginning of much of the work done on the Manhattan Project. Seventy-five years ago last month, General Leslie Groves selected Hanford, Washington as the site for plutonium production. Seventy-five years ago this month, staff began arriving at the site in Los Alamos, New MexicoAnd 75 years ago this November, the X-10 graphite reactor in Oak Ridge, Tennessee went critical.  

Along with all this history we often hear the names of the men who proved the theories, built and tested the reactors, and eventually designed and built the atomic bomb. But, unfortunately, the many women along the way often get overlooked.  

But not this month. 

This Women's History Month, we're recognizing the women who contributed to the Manhattan Project, which ushered in the nuclear age. Over the next few weeks, we'll be releasing a timeline, a coloring book, and other content celebrating the important work these women performed.  

By highlighting the contributions of these women of the past, we hope to inspire the next generation of women in science.