Title

Becoming the Atomic City

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Campus where you would like to present

Ellensburg

Event Website

https://digitalcommons.cwu.edu/source

Start Date

18-5-2020

Abstract

In the 1940s, Hanford, Washington contributed to the development of the atom bomb that ended the Second World War and ushered in the American atomic age. Since then, research has been conducted on the Hanford site, its employees, and the environmental effects of nuclear energy on the surrounding area. However, few studies have been done on the cultural development of the site’s housing community in Richland. The following paper explores the development of Richland throughout the 1940s and 1950s through analysis of local newspaper articles and souvenir programs from annual celebrations. This analysis reveals how Richland’s industries and community events both reflected and contributed to the atomic age, thus establishing the town’s identity as an atomic city. Richland embraced its atomic identity by adapting infrastructure and annual celebrations to accommodate the growing population of residents and tourists. Residents promoted Richland as modern and prosperous by incorporating atomic language and imagery into the town’s businesses and community events. While the atom bomb had a significant impact on global politics, it also shaped the culture of the United States in the years following the war. This research examines the cultural effects of the atom bomb on a regional level.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Marji Morgan

Department/Program

History

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
May 18th, 12:00 PM

Becoming the Atomic City

Ellensburg

In the 1940s, Hanford, Washington contributed to the development of the atom bomb that ended the Second World War and ushered in the American atomic age. Since then, research has been conducted on the Hanford site, its employees, and the environmental effects of nuclear energy on the surrounding area. However, few studies have been done on the cultural development of the site’s housing community in Richland. The following paper explores the development of Richland throughout the 1940s and 1950s through analysis of local newspaper articles and souvenir programs from annual celebrations. This analysis reveals how Richland’s industries and community events both reflected and contributed to the atomic age, thus establishing the town’s identity as an atomic city. Richland embraced its atomic identity by adapting infrastructure and annual celebrations to accommodate the growing population of residents and tourists. Residents promoted Richland as modern and prosperous by incorporating atomic language and imagery into the town’s businesses and community events. While the atom bomb had a significant impact on global politics, it also shaped the culture of the United States in the years following the war. This research examines the cultural effects of the atom bomb on a regional level.

https://digitalcommons.cwu.edu/source/2020/CAH/19