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Longing for the BombOak Ridge and Atomic Nostalgia$
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Lindsey A. Freeman

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781469622378

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469622378.001.0001

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Happy Memories under the Mushroom Cloud

Happy Memories under the Mushroom Cloud

(p.120) Chapter Six Happy Memories under the Mushroom Cloud
Longing for the Bomb

Lindsey A. Freeman

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter discusses the day-long celebration of the new visibility of the formerly secret Atomic City, held on March 19, 1949. The event staged the symbolic opening of the gates and the festive parade but particular focus was given to the opening of the world’s first museum of atomic energy. The inauguration of the American Museum of Atomic Energy was carefully planned to coincide directly with the opening of the town; in fact, only two hours separated their respective public introductions. The timing was intended to solidify a particular version of the events leading up to and following the end of World War II. Moreover, the museum’s trajectory mirrored the arc of the city itself, and to some degree the national narrative as well.

Keywords:   Atomic City, American Museum of Atomic Energy, World War II, festival parade, symbolic opening

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