13.07.

1970: General Leslie Groves – The Man who Built the Pentagon and the First American Nuclear Bomb

1970: General Leslie Groves – The Man who Built the Pentagon and the First American Nuclear Bomb
Photo Credit To Wikipedia Commons

Story Highlights

  • Historical event:
  • 13 July 1970
  • Working on the large-scale construction project of the Pentagon earned Groves the reputation of a good business manager. Even before the Pentagon was fully completed, Groves was assigned with an even more important project - the construction of the first U.S. nuclear bomb. For his headquarters, Groves chose a building in Manhattan in New York, so the project of making a nuclear bomb was named the Manhattan Project.

On this day in 1970, U.S. General Leslie Groves died. He had a major role during World War II as a project manager in constructing the first US nuclear bomb (the Manhattan Project).

General Groves was actually a military engineer officer, and before he got to direct the Manhattan Project he oversaw the construction of the huge Pentagon building near Washington, D.C. It was the largest ever built office building in the world, with hundreds of thousands of square meters and a few dozen kilometers of corridors.

Working on the large-scale construction project of the Pentagon earned Groves the reputation of a good business manager. Even before the Pentagon was fully completed, Groves was assigned with an even more important project – the construction of the first U.S. nuclear bomb. Of course, it was a project that could decide the outcome of World War II (Groves was assigned to the project in 1942).

Groves, who held a rank of a colonel at the time of the Pentagon’s construction, was promoted to general, which was more adequate for the needs of the Manhattan Project. Apparently, he wished to impress the scientists and civilians working on the project.

For his headquarters, Groves chose a building in Manhattan in New York, on 270 Broadway. That is why the project of making a nuclear bomb was named the Manhattan Project.

Of course, the Manhattan Project succeeded, and in 1945 the Americans were able to drop two nuclear bombs on Japanese cities. Later, General Groves was promoted even further to the rank of a three-star general.

After the war, he was chief of the Armed Forces Special Weapons Project for a while, which involved the maintenance and testing of nuclear weapons.

General Groves retired in February of 1948, and lived until this day in 1970. He died at the age of 73 in Washington, D.C.

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