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Looking Back On The Ames Project At 75 Years

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Tony Webster
Creative Commons
Scientists at Iowa State University helped develop the technology that made the first atomic bombs used during World War II possible.

Seventy-five years ago, the United States dropped two nuclear bombs on Japan. We’ll learn about the role that scientists in Ames, Iowa had in developing those weapons.

On August 6, 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb nicknamed “Little Boy” on Hiroshima, Japan. On August 9, 1945, the US dropped another bomb, “Fat Man” on Nagasaki, Japan. The results were devastating. Between 129,000 and 226,000 people, most of whom were civilians were killed. Just days later on August 14 Japan surrendered and World War II was officially over.

The United States won the race to develop operational nuclear weapons. The code name for the project that developed these weapons was The Manhattan Project and scientists in Ames, Iowa played a key role in making this possible. Talk of Iowa host Charity Nebbe recounts this history with Leo Landis.


Leo Landis, state curator, State Historical Society of Iowa

Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Rick Brewer is a producer for IPR's Talk of Iowa and River to River