At the height of World War II, the city of Oak Ridge, Tennessee—then known only as the Clinton Engineering Works—boasted 75,000 people and yet did not appear on any map. Thousands of civilians, many of them young women, were recruited to the secretive site and trained not to talk about what they did or knew.
This was where the U.S. enriched the uranium that led to the first atomic bombs, a fact not revealed to workers until the bombs were dropped on Japan in 1945.
Journalist Denise Kiernan recounts the women’s experiences in a discussion of her book The Girls of Atomic City: The Untold Story of the Women Who Helped Win World War II. The presentation continues the series War Stories: World War II Remembered, which is co-presented by the Truman Library Institute and made possible by funding from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation.