13.08.

1942: Why was the Project of Making an American Nuclear Bomb Called the Manhattan Project?

1942: Why was the Project of Making an American Nuclear Bomb Called the Manhattan Project?
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons/Manhattan Project Organization Chart, 1 May 1946

Story Highlights

  • Historical event
  • 13 August 1942
  • There were suggestions that the project should be given a more secretive name, such as “Development of Substitute Materials”, but General Groves believed that this would only attract more attention.

This day in 1942 marked the official beginning of the Manhattan Project, within which the first American nuclear weapons were made.

The story of how the project got its name is particularly interesting. Namely, officer Leslie Groves was assigned as the leader of the project, and promoted to general.

He chose a building on the island of Manhattan, New York, as his main headquarters. The address was 270 Broadway.

Since it was customary to name military engineering projects after the territorial principle i.e. the geographic area they encompassed, the project was assigned the name “Manhattan District”, later shortened to “Manhattan”.

Such a name also helped keep the project secret. There were suggestions that the project should be given a more secretive name, such as “Development of Substitute Materials”, but General Groves believed that this would only attract more attention.

It is interesting that Groves had previously been the leader of the Pentagon construction project, which was at that time the largest office building in the world. Therefore, he led two extremely important U.S. military projects during his career.

 

Facebook Comments

Related posts