The Manhattan Project Heritage Preservation Association, Inc.
"Preserving, Exhibiting, Interpreting and Teaching the History of the Manhattan Project"
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"The release of atom power has changed everything except our way of thinking...the solution to this problem lies in the heart of mankind. If only I had known, I should have become a watchmaker."
This quote provided to us by Pascal Trinkner of Germany
Below are a few quotes that visitors have sent us. If you have or know of a quote, please go to the bottom of this page and send it to us. We will include it here. Thanks.
J. Robert Oppenheimer
This quote provided to us by Ashutosh Jogalekar of India
Herbert L. Anderson, a physicist at the met lab
This quote provided to us by Sarah Hall of Oregon
This quote provided to us by Scott Fisher of Tennessee
This quote provided to us by Daniel Osborn of Colorado
"To avert a vast, indefinite butchery, by a few explosions seemed, after all our perils and toils, a miracle of deliverance."
This quote provided to us by Michael White of Virginia
"Just at that instant there rose as if from the bowels of the earth a light not of this world, the light of many suns in one. It was sunrise such as the world had never seen, a great green super-sun climbing in a fraction of a second to a height of more than eight thousand feet, rising ever higher until it touched the clouds... Then out of the great silence came a mighty thunder... The first cry of a new born world."
|William Laurence of the New York Times viewed the test from 20 miles away. He wrote this description of the explosion that was the equivalent of 20 000 tons of TNT... This quote submitted to us by Nick Larson of Ontario, Canada.|
"I know not what World War III will be fought with, but world war IV will be fought with sticks and stones"
|Albert Einstein; This quote submitted by John Eastman|
"During the years of the Manhattan Project, I was told only one, single secret by my husband. That there were no metallurgists at the Metallurgical Laboratory (Met Lab)."
Laura Fermi (wife of Enrico Fermi)
"The neutron had been discovered only seven years earlier. Then, our model of the nucleus had changed to the liquid drop. And now fission. What an exciting specialty I'd chosen; truly the cutting edge. What great fortune to be in a field with so much work to be done."
Glenn T. Seaborg; Nobel Laureate; Discoverer of Plutonium; 1939
"The accident that we worked out this dreadful thing should not give us [scientists] the responsibility of having a voice in how it is to be used."
|Edward Teller; Date Unknown|
"If I had known that the Germans would not succeed in constructing the atom bomb, I would never have lifted a finger."
|Albert Einstein; 1946|
"Having found the bomb we have used it. We used it against those who attacked us without warning at Pearl Harbor, against those who have starved and beaten and executed American prisoners of war, against those who have abandoned all pretext of obeying international laws of warfare. We have used it in order to shorten the agony of war, in order to save the lives of thousands and thousands of young Americans."
President Harry S. Truman; August 10, 1945
"The world's greatest achievements often happen on the edge of chaos" - Unknown
"If the radiance of a thousand suns were to burst into the sky, that would be the splendor of the Mighty One----"
"Talk softly please. I have been engaged in experiments which suggest that the atom can be artificially disintegrated. If it is true, it is of far greater importance than a war"
Ernest Rutherford; Physicist; New Zealand - Upon being censured for his absence from a top level meeting to discuss new anti-submarine defense systems - 1919; Source: Robert Jungk; Brighter than a Thousand Suns 1956 New York
"It is a profound and necessary truth that the deep things in science are not found because they are useful; they are found because it was possible to find them."
|J. Robert Oppenheimer; Scientific Director; The Manhattan Project|
...the people themselves have seen with their own eyes the steadily mounting power and fury of our combined offensive. You have seen our mighty battleships bombard your shores. You have seen the thousands of war planes day after day darken your skies. Japan must make a choice, upon the wisdom of which her whole future will depend. In light of the alternatives presented in the joint proclamation, this choice should not be difficult. One alternative is prompt and utter destruction. If the Japanese people are forced by their self-willed militaristic leaders to choose the alternative of ruin, centuries of sweat and toil will be brought to naught in a cataclysmic end of a very tragic war. The other alternative is the end of the war. One simple decision will allow tranquility again to return to the city and the countryside. The guns will cease their fire, the bombs will no longer drop from the skies, your sons and brothers will no longer face agonizing and useless death on the battlefields. The homeland of Japan will be saved to continue a sovereign existence under a peacefully inclined and responsible government."
|The Potsdam Ultimatum - Immediately after the Trinity Test on July 16, 1945, the results were transmitted to President Harry Truman who was attending an Allied Conference at Potsdam along with Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin. As a result of the successful test, the above "ultimatum" was drafted and sent to the military leaders of Japan. It was also broadcast to the Japanese people on July 28, 1945. The "ultimatum" was rejected! The Hiroshima bombing took place on August 6, 1945 followed by Nagasaki on August 10th.|
"We have too many men of science, too few men of God. We have grasped the mystery of the atom and rejected the Sermon of the Mount...The world has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience. Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living..."
|General Omar N. Bradley; Chief of Staff; United States Army; 1948|
"Now we are all sons of bitches!"
|Kenneth Bainbridge; "Trinity" Test Director... Following the fearsomely successful explosion early in the morning of July 16, 1945, he congratulated J. Robert Oppenheimer and the others, then made his legendary remark. Oppenheimer later remarked that this was the best thing anyone had said just after the test. Ken subsequently was deeply dedicated to the control of nuclear weapons.|
"We (the military leaders at Los Alamos) came up through kindergarten with them (the scientists). While they could put elaborate equations on the board, which we might not be able to follow in their entirety, when it came to what was so and what was probably so, we knew just about as much as they did. So when I say that we were responsible for the scientific decisions, I am not saying that we were extremely able nuclear physicists, because actually we were not. We were what might be termed "thoroughly" practical nuclear physicists."
|General Leslie R. Groves; Commanding Officer - Manhattan Engineer District; 1955|
"I must confess, however, that between 1943 and 1945 General Groves could have won almost any unpopularity contest in which the scientific community at Los Alamos voted"
|Edward Teller; Eminent Physicist; 1946|
Sometime in 1943, General Groves, while visiting the Berkeley Radiation Laboratory which was at work separating U235 by electromagnetic means, attempted to spur Ernest O. Lawrence (the director of the lab) on by saying to him, "You know, Doctor Lawrence, your reputation is at stake here". Later that evening over cocktails, Lawrence (who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1939) turned and said to Groves, "You know, General, my reputation has been made; it is your reputation that is at stake here." Groves did not respond.
|Story related by Edward Teller, who was present at meeting.|
We are constantly looking for relevant quotes to use in our newsletters and web site. If you know of one, please enter it into the space below; please be sure to check whether or not we may use your name as the source.