This is a continuation of a series of posts relating to the development of the atomic bomb.
Park Avenue. 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. 10 Downing. 112 Mercer. Institute for Advanced Studies. The Cavendish Lab. All pretty good addresses. I have a hard time though coming up with a single best address that beats POB 1663, Santa Fe, New Mexico. For the sheer breadth of those represented by this simple location, I just can’t think of anything more specific or more inclusive.
Oppenheimer lived there. So did Fermi. And Feynman. And Teller. And Bohr. And thousands of others.
Post Office Box
1663, Santa Fe
Site Y (begun in June 1942) was of course the location of Los Alamos
This letter of congratulation and support was written by
President Franklin Roosevelt to J. Robert Oppenheimer, and sent to The Address
of POB 1663. It is an odd letter full of
sleight, though it is obvious that Roosevelt
1. By the way, in describing this item from their collection the Library of Congress website understates WWII in a way that I don’t think I had ever seen before:
“In the midst of World War II when the United States
2. Given the vast, extraordinary amount of the resources consumed by this effort, I don’t think that the atomic bomb could’ve been produced by any other country at this time—I think that, materially speaking, it was an impossibility.
*The fact was though that the place did seem to be a baby-maker, surpassing national averages, with roughly a fifth of all the married women on the base being pregnant in 1944. See John Hunner’s Inventing Los Alamos for an interesting discussion of the baby topic. Babies and bombs and radioactive hell-mush in the foothills of the Sangre de Christo.