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The First Atomic Bomb Test: The Trinity Test in New Mexico

September 6, 2023

Janet Farrell Brodie
Professor Emerita of US History at Claremont Graduate University
On July 16, 1945, just weeks before the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki that brought about the end of World War II, the United States exploded the world’s first atomic bomb at the Trinity testing site located in the remote Tularosa Valley in south-central New Mexico.  Janet Farrell Brodie explores the history of the Trinity test and those whose contributions have rarely, if ever, been discussed — the little-known men and women who built the site, guarded it, and set up other tests, along with the ranchers whose land became the test site — as well as the downwinders who suffered the consequences of the radiation.  Her study concentrates on these ordinary people — workers, ranchers, and indigenous peoples — who lived in the region and participated in the testing.


Janet Farrell Brodie is a professor emerita of US history at Claremont Graduate University (California), recently retired after 25 years.  She is the author of The First Atomic Bomb: The Trinity Site in New Mexico.  Her focus has been on research, writing, and teaching about secrecy and American wars.  She has published articles on atomic secrecy in multiple venues, including the Journal of Social History and the Journal of Diplomatic History and in the edited volume, Inevitably Toxic:  Historical Perspectives on Contamination, Exposure, and Expertise.

Here is the link to the presentation:    


September 6, 2023
Event Category:


Friends of History
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