Photographer Ed Westcott will be the honored guest and author Denise Kiernan will be the guest speaker at a 75th anniversary celebration for Oak Ridge on September 15.
The 75th anniversary celebration is presented by the Oak Ridge Heritage and Preservation Association. It’s scheduled to start with historical displays at the Historic Grove Theater at 2 p.m. Friday, September 15.
The celebration is free and open to the public, but donations to Friends of the Grove and the ORHPA are welcome.
Westcott was the official government photographer in Oak Ridge during the top-secret Manhattan Project during World War II. He will be the honored guest from 4 to 5:30 p.m. September 15. There will be a photo slide show presented by Don and Emily Hunnicutt, as well as a question-and-answer session.
Kiernan is the author of “The Girls of Atomic City” and “The Last Castle.” Her talk is titled “The Legacy of Place,” and it is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. September 15, according to the event flyer.
There will be a book signing, and books will be for sale.
The celebration will also feature a closing reception with birthday cake.
Oak Ridge’s birthday has been recognized on September 19. That’s because the city that is now Oak Ridge was picked for the Manhattan Project on September 19, 1942, almost 75 years ago. That was the day that General Leslie Groves approved the acquisition of 59,000 acres of land along the Clinch River for what soon became the Manhattan Project, a federal program to build the world’s first atomic bombs, before Germany could. Oak Ridge was then 90 square miles of East Tennessee farmland. It was the first site for Manhattan Project facilities.