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TRINITY: 50 YEARS LATER
The Nuclear Age's
Blinding Dawn
Originally published: July 1995
The stories:
A Blinding Dawn
On July 16, 1945, the United States detonated the first atomic bomb. The test, code-named Trinity, was the conclusion of the Manhattan Project to build the bomb in a frantic race with Adolf Hitler's scientists. The explosion ushered in the nuclear age, gave rise to New Mexico's modern economy, led to Japan's surrender and set off 50 years of debate about the morality of using such awesome force.

New Mexicans witnessed history
They saw mankind's first detonation of an atomic bomb -- at ground zero on the sweep of some of the most desolate land in New Mexico: Jornada del Muerto, it is called, the Journey of Death.
The reprint:
A Blinding Dawn.900K file
A historic explosion in southern New Mexico's desolate Jornada del Muerto heralded the end of a war and the beginning of a new world.

Nuclear Naiveté.288K file
The scientists who assembled the first atomic bombs used everything from tape to tissue - and learned a deadly lesson in radiation when a screwdriver slipped.

Proving Ground.116K file
After months of wrestling with The Bomb, the Free World's leading scientists watched nature's destructive potential reach critical mass.

In Oppenheimer's Orbit.364K file
N.M. man witnessed A-bomb's conception, guided Los Alamos scientists to Trinity site.

Economic Shock Waves.324K file
Los Alamos Lab brought money, opportunity to northern N.M.'s rural poor.

Moral Fallout.240K file
Some, such as scientist Edward Teller, see the atomic bomb project as a savior for the Free World. Others think atomic weapons extended the Cold War far past its prime.

The reporters:
Columnist Larry Calloway began at the Journal in 1980. His column appeared in the newspaper Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday. He retired in 2000. A veteran newsman, Calloway has worked for the United Press International and The Associated Press.
Fritz Thompson covers the state of New Mexico for the Journal. Thompson, a native of Wagon Mound, N.M., has been at the Journal since 1970.
Patrick Armijo is a reporter for the Journal North section in Santa Fe. He joined the Journal in Oct. 94 from the Greeley Tribune.

Visit to the Trinity Site:
Trinity Site, on the northern section of White Sands Missile Range 120 miles south of Albuquerque, is open to the public twice a year. Visitors can tour Ground Zero and examine the casing of a plutonium bomb of the type tested in 1945.

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