What was the Manhattan Project? Over just three years, the top secret project that built the atomic bomb took a theoretical idea and turned it into the most powerful weapon in history. This coordinated effort in research, engineering, and construction was known as the Manhattan Project. The history and background of this massive undertaking involved some of the most well-known scientists of the era, plants all over the US, secrecy that would put the most heavily-guarded tech company to shame, and hundreds of thousands of people.
While many people think the Manhattan Project was just the scientists toiling at Los Alamos, the facts of the Project are more complicated than that. There were refinement plants the size of cities, armies of engineers, spy drama, thousands of explosions, and heated conflicts - all in the service of building a weapon that had never existed before, and which wasn't sure to work.
Here are some Manhattan Project facts, history, and interesting anecdotes that detail its triumphs, failures, and how it was basically all run by one person.
Roosevelt approved the atomic bomb program on October 9, 1941. What became known as the "S-1 Uranium Committee" met for the first time right after Pearl Harbor. They spent six months meeting in various places. Initial discussions centered around whether it was possible and feasible to develop a fission bomb, and looked into the theoretical physics behind it.In July 1942, a group of S-1 scientists declared that the development of such a device was possible - but that it would be a massive undertaking.