Due to the
surrounding the test, no accurate information of what happened was
to the public until after the second atomic bomb had been dropped on
However, many people in New Mexico were well aware that something
had happened the morning of July 16, 1945. The blinding flash of light,
the shock wave
had made a vivid impression on people who lived within a radius of 160
miles of ground zero. Windows were shattered 120 miles away in Silver
and residents of Albuquerque saw the bright light of the explosion on
southern horizon and felt the tremor of the shock waves moments later.
story of the Trinity
test first became known to the public on August 6, 1945. This is when
world's second nuclear bomb, nicknamed Little Boy, exploded 1,850 feet
over Hiroshima, Japan, destroying a large portion of the city and
an estimated 70,000 to 130,000 of
days later on August 9, a third atomic bomb devastated the city of
and killed approximately 45,000 more Japanese. The Nagasaki weapon was
a plutonium bomb, similar to the Trinity device, and it was nicknamed
Man. On Tuesday August 14, at 7 p.m. Eastern War Time, President Truman
made a brief formal
that Japan had finally surrendered and World War II was over after
six years and 60 million deaths!
September 9, 1945,
Trinity Site was opened to the press for the first time. This was
to dispel rumors of lingering high radiation levels there, as well as
Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Led by General Groves and Oppenheimer, this
publicized visit made Trinity front page news all over the country.
Site was later encircled
with more than a mile of chain link fencing and posted with signs
of radioactivity. In the early 1950s most of the remaining Trinitite in
the crater was bulldozed into a underground concrete bunker near
Also at this time the crater was back filled with new soil. In 1963 the
Trinitite was removed from the bunker, packed into 55-gallon drums, and
loaded into trucks belonging to the Atomic Energy Commission (the
of the Manhattan Project). Trinity site remained off-limits to
and civilian personnel of the range and closed to the public for many
despite attempts immediately after the war to turn Trinity into a
about 700 people
attended the first Trinity Site open house sponsored by the Alamogordo
Chamber of Commerce and the Missile Range. Two years later, a small
from Tularosa, NM visited the site on the 10th anniversary of the
to conduct a religious service and pray for peace.
visits have been
made annually in recent years on the first Saturday in October instead
of the anniversary date of July 16, to avoid the desert heat.
Trinity Site was opened one additional day on the first Saturday in
The Site remains closed to the
two days, because it lies within the impact areas for missiles fired
the northern part of the Range.
erected a modest monument at Ground Zero. Built of black lava rock,
monument serves as a permanent marker for the site and as a reminder of
the momentous event that occurred there. On the monument is a plain
plaque with this simple inscription: "Trinity Site Where the World's
Nuclear Device Was Exploded on July 16, 1945."
annual tour in
1975, a second plaque was added below the first by The National Park
designating Trinity Site a National Historic Landmark. This
reads, "This site possesses national significance in commemorating the
history of the U.S.A."