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Hanford Site - Richland

Richland, Wa, looking west. Nell Lewis MacGregor papers, box 1, photograph by Robley L. Johnson. University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections, UW275. Hanford Site Construction Camp, Former Hanford Townsite, around 1944. (DOE Hanford.gov) Hanford Site plutonium production reactors along the Columbia River during the Manhattan Project, 1945. Library of Congress

Richland remained a farming village (population approximately 250) until 1942, when, with the development of the atomic bomb, it became part of the 400,000-acre reservation of the Hanford Engineer Works- and the Manhattan Project. 65.000 workers were brought in for construction and operation of Hanford

Today, Hanford is the site of the only operating nuclear power plant in the Northwest, the Columbia Generating Station operated by Energy Northwest.

Please refer to this series of essays from HistoryLink.org for an expanded understanding of Hanford siting, construction and opening.

Siting the Hanford Engineer Works, Louis Chesnut

A federal judge signs the Order of Condemnation for 625 square miles of land in the Hanford and Richland areas on February 23, 1943.

Construction of massive plutonium production complex at Hanford begins in March 1943.

B-17 Bomber "Day's Pay" christened at the Hanford Airport on July 23, 1944.

Japanese incendiary balloons land in Washington beginning on February 12, 1945.

Other Resources:

Hanford Nuclear Reservation, Columbia River History

Hanford Engineering Works

Hanford Engineer Works Village (Richland, Washington): Shaping a Nuclear Community, by David W. Harvey & Katheryn H. Kraft

Minuteman Missile fields in the United States Library of Congress

Minuteman Missile site in Teton County, Montana

Malmstrom Air Base and Minuteman Missile Sites

Minuteman Missiles were designed to deliver nuclear warheads to targets in the Soviet Union as part of the Cold War. The military located the missiles in the northern Great Plains for several strategic purposes:

  • Range of missiles (over the north pole to targets)
  • Far from U.S. coastline population and Soviet submarine range
  • Logistical support from existing Air Force bases

The first 50 missiles were deployed to Malmstrom Air Force Base's "missile field" in 1961, dispersing the weapons over thousands of acres. Eventually Montana's collection of underground warheads grew to 200, and appeared in small fenced installations on ranch and farmland from the Rocky Mountain Front through the Judith Basin.

Minuteman Turns 40.

www.afa.org/magazine/March2001/0301minute_print.html [file://localhost/exchweb/bin/redir.asp]
Air Force article on the Minuteman missile.

Minute Man Missile, National Park Service, Nat'l Historic Site, South Dakota.
www.nps.gov/mimi/ [file://localhost/exchweb/bin/redir.asp] Provides information from the South Dakota home of the Minuteman.
Minuteman Missile site photo gallery
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Resources for Teachers
Minuteman Missile National Historic Site: Protecting a Legacy of the Cold War

Minuteman Missile Sites, University of Wyoming.
asuwlink.uwyo.edu/~jimkirk/minuteman.html [file://localhost/exchweb/bin/redir.asp]
Many links and resources on the Minuteman.

Malmstrom AFB Minuteman Missile Sites http://asuwlink.uwyo.edu/~jimkirk/malmstrom.html
USGS images of missile silos included. Great Falls, Montana base oversees 200 Minuteman missile sites. The first squadron of Minuteman missiles was deployed at Malmstrom, in 1961.

Missile stockpile to decrease at Malmstrom Air Force Base, Billings Gazette article