Andonian, Raffi Edward
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In September 2012, the decade-long effort to create the Manhattan Project National Historical Park culminated with the failure of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park Act in the 112th Congress of the United States. Throughout that year, the local, national, and international public debate about this potential national park remained contested and controversial, because the Manhattan Project created the world’s first nuclear weapons, which were used by the United States in 1945 on Hiroshima and Nagasaki during the Second World War. Many layers of nuclear legacies, stemming from 1945 through the present day, pervade the public’s historical memory of the Manhattan Project. Thus, this public debate raised questions about the roles of historic preservation, national parks, and historical interpretation. The 113th Congress might reconsider and vote again about the establishment the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, and this time Congress must recognize the historic significance of the Manhattan Project and allow for its preservation by approving the measure.
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