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A Nuclear Family: Coming of Age in Oppenheimer’s Secret City

August 7 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Free – $25.00

Ellen Wilder Bradbury-Reid

Author, Nuclear History;  Art Historian

Ellen will draw on her memories of growing up as a child in Los Alamos during the Manhattan Project, and the early years following.  Her father, Edward Wilder, was part of the team which built the explosives shell for the “Fat Man” nuclear bomb  detonated over Nagasaki in August 1945. He had told her they were doing something that had never been done before…which made a big impression on her. Although a child, she even wanted to be a “spy” for the project. She worried about the effects of the bomb since she had, by accident, seen raw footage of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.  She offers these memories to provide some insight into the cloistered life during Los Alamos, New Mexico’s early years.

Ellen Wilder Bradbury-Reid graduated from the University of New Mexico in 1963.  She pursued a successful career in the Arts as a Curator at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, Director of the New Mexico Museum of Arts, and Director of the Santa Fe Festival of the Arts. She has written or co-written books on Mexican Architecture, and the American Indian Ghost; and, most notably,  From the Far Away Nearby, on Georgia O’Keeffe (UNM Press, 1992).

Ellen’s interest in Los Alamos and the Manhattan Project has continued throughout her life.  She married John Bradbury whose father, Norris, succeeded Robert Oppenheimer as Director of Los Alamos Laboratory.  And, she is a co-founder, and presently manages, Recursos de Santa Fe, an educational nonprofit focused on the cultures and environments of the U.S. Southwest including the history of Los Alamos and the development of the Atomic Bomb.

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August 7
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Free – $25.00
Event Category:


NM United States


Friends of History
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