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Did Thursday pass you by?

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By Ralph Damiani

Well, how many of you remembered to honor Thursday? It is a day that is not only important to Los Alamos but to the world.

Thursday was the anniversary of the first atomic bomb test, conducted on July 16, 1945.

The name of the site where the bomb went off was named Trinity, the location of the first test of a nuclear explosion ever conducted. We know that Trinity is in New Mexico, in that portion of the desert known as the Jornade del Muerto – Journey of Death – near Alamogordo.

The director of the “Manhattan Project” which developed the bomb here was J. Robert Oppenheimer. It is reported that he named the site Trinity after the fourteenth of John Donne’s Holy Sonnets, which begins, “Batter my heart, three person’d God.”

There were 425 men present as witnesses when the atomic bomb exploded. Most observers were well past 10,000 yards from the detonation, which was equivalent to the explosion of around 20 kilotons of TNT. (Around 100 scientists entered a betting pool at a dollar a bet on the yield of the bomb, which was unknown before the test.)

The bomb went off at 5:29:45 a.m.


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