Los Alamos History Museum

Los Alamos History Museum The Los Alamos Historical Society and Museum preserve, protect, and communicate the remarkable history and inspiring stories of Los Alamos.
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One museum in multiple buildings, the museum tells history of the people of Los Alamos, including information on the Ancestral Pueblo people, Homesteading history, the Los Alamos Ranch School, the Manhattan Project, and the Post-World War II community.

On November 3, 1947, Precint 17 was created, giving Los Alamos residents the right to vote. But the struggle to create L...
11/07/2019

On November 3, 1947, Precint 17 was created, giving Los Alamos residents the right to vote. But the struggle to create Los Alamos County continued. Here's physicist Jane Hall presenting the city manager form of government as part of a League of Women Voters of Los Alamos program in December, 1947. Learn more in our current temporary exhibit, Test Tube Community!

Photo from the Los Alamos Historical Society Photo Archives.

#tbt #LosAlamosHistory #NewMexicoTrue

11/05/2019

5 November 2019

Tuesday’s Quote—
Robert Oppenheimer’s thoughts on science and its relations to man and society are shown in these concluding remarks of his Reith Lectures:

“We know that our work is rightly both an instrument and an end. A great discovery is a thing of beauty; and our faith—our binding, quiet faith—is that knowledge is good and good in itself. It is also an instrument; it is an instrument for our successors, who will use it to probe elsewhere and more deeply; it is an instrument of technology, for the practical arts, and for man’s affairs. So it is with us as scientists; so it is with us as men. We are at once instrument and end, discoverers and teachers, actors and observers. We understand, as we hope others understand, that in this there is a harmony between knowledge in the sense of science, that specialized and general knowledge, which it is our purpose to uncover, and the community of man. We, like all men, are among those who bring a little light to the vast unending darkness of man’s life and world. For us as for all men, change and eternity, specialization and unity, instrument and final purpose, community and individual man alone, complementary each to the other, both require and define our bonds and our freedom.”

From ROBERT OPPENHEIMER, 1904-1967 by Robert F. Bacher

Today is the last day of Archives Month, and we want to give an enormous thank you to our archives staff and volunteers,...
10/31/2019

Today is the last day of Archives Month, and we want to give an enormous thank you to our archives staff and volunteers, and to everyone who has chosen to donate artifacts to the Los Alamos Historical Society. These objects, documents, and photographs connect us to our history and bring our museum to life.

Photo by Minesh Bacrania for the Los Alamos Historical Society.

#tbt #LosAlamosHistory #NewMexicoTrue

It's Archives Month! Here's something you may not expect to find in our archives—a child's bank shaped like a rocket.We ...
10/30/2019

It's Archives Month! Here's something you may not expect to find in our archives—a child's bank shaped like a rocket.

We preserve and share the stories of Los Alamos in our archival collections. These objects, documents, and photographs are available to researchers visiting the archives, and when you visit the History Museum you can see some of the most treasured artifacts on display in our exhibits.

Photo by Minesh Bacrania for the Los Alamos Historical Society.

#LosAlamosHistory #NMTrue

10/30/2019

Tuesday’s Quote for this week comes from 109 EAST PALACE AVENUE: A Microcosm of Santa Fe’s Four Hundred Year History by John Ruminer.

“[Martha] Field purchased the East Palace properties at a time when patriotism in the country was high and many of Santa Fe’s youth were actively engaged in World War II. Both Martha and her daughter, Lois, wanted to do what they could for the war effort. They turned the Prince Plaza into a service club for veterans and sold war bonds out of the office on its east side. In March 1943, about a year after she purchased the Trujillo Plaza, Field leased it to the University of California for a project that she knew was somehow related to the war effort. Not until August 1945 did she finally realize the historic significance of this secret wartime project. It is reported that after the New Mexican ran a full, front page story of the Hiroshima bombing, Field burst into the 109 office in a very animated state, commenting to her close friend Dorothy McKibbin, who ran the office, “So that’s what you have been doing!”

10/29/2019

#wheresoppie

J. Robert Oppenheimer bobbleheads are available at the Los Alamos History Museum shop.
Pick one up today and start posting.

Godzilla first roared onto the screen today in 1954. But he wasn't the first atomic movie monster—join us for some Hallo...
10/27/2019

Godzilla first roared onto the screen today in 1954. But he wasn't the first atomic movie monster—join us for some Halloween fun this Wednesday with pre-Godzilla atomic monster made by Ray Harryhausen! 7 pm in Fuller Lodge.
https://www.facebook.com/events/576720029460564/

#LosAlamosHistory #PlayLosAlamos #LearnLosAlamos #NMTrue

It is Archives Month! The Los Alamos Historical Society Archives and Collections cares for over 40,000 photos and docume...
10/24/2019

It is Archives Month! The Los Alamos Historical Society Archives and Collections cares for over 40,000 photos and documents and over 10,000 3D artifacts, including this Ranch School saddle.

Photo by Minesh Bacrania for the Los Alamos Historical Society.

#tbt #LosAlamosHistory #NewMexicoTrue

10/22/2019

Tuesday’s Quote for this week comes from IN THE SHADOW OF LOS ALAMOS: Selected Writings of Edith Warner by Patrick Burns. These are Edith Warner’s words of October 6, 1929.

“I ran away today, so sick I was of the kitchen and everlasting food. Constant walls and a roof do something to me at any time, and when the aspens turn golden, I seethe inside until finally I revolt and leave everything.
“The sun was just above Baldy when I walked to the pueblo for the old white horse, but by the time I reached the trail leading to the top of Shumo, it was halfway up the heavens. Shumo has a round knoll on its mesa top, which is the highest spot in the valley, and I had to be on top of my world today. All the beauty of the valley lay below me. Beyond were the mesas reaching westward to the Jemez with its great masses of golden aspens. The whirring of a bird overhead and the rushing of the river far below were the only sounds.
“If I were a leader of people, on such a day I would send them alone into the open.”

With the aspens golden on the Jemez Mountains these autumn days in Los Alamos, Edith’s words seemed to give us the perfect quote.

10/17/2019

Plan on joining mountain man James Ohio Pattie (performed by Steven Dixon) for a spine-tingling 1824 adventure this Sunday at 6 pm in Fuller Lodge. Ttickets are $10 ($5 for students). The event is organized by our local National History Day club, and ticket sales will help these young historians travel to competition in the spring!

https://www.facebook.com/events/2311103188998439/

#LosAlamosHistory #NMTrue #LearnLosAlamos #PlayLosAlamos #tbt

A big thanks to Marlon Magdalena (Jemez) from Jemez Historic Site for sharing a lesson with our Time Travelers program t...
10/16/2019

A big thanks to Marlon Magdalena (Jemez) from Jemez Historic Site for sharing a lesson with our Time Travelers program this week and last!

#NMTrue #NewMexicoTrue #LearnLosAlamos

10/15/2019

Tuesday’s Quote for this week comes from LIFE WITHIN LIMITS by Eleanor (Jerry) Stone Roensch. “Jerry” was a WAC in Los Alamos during World War II and later wrote this delightful book of her memories. It is soon to be brought back into print by Bathtub Row Press!
“I can’t say that I ever saw Oppie come into the PX, but I did see him come into the North Mess one time when I had been lingering there over a cup of coffee. He was at the head of a group of well-dressed visitors, and he smiled at everyone as he came in. His pork pie hat, his pipe, and something about his eyes gave him a certain aura. He never needed to show off or demand or shout. He was the center of our attention, and he had our respect.”

Leaves may be falling in Los Alamos, except at the History Museum! Purchasing a leaf is a wonderful way to honor someone...
10/15/2019

Leaves may be falling in Los Alamos, except at the History Museum! Purchasing a leaf is a wonderful way to honor someone or show your support for our amazing community. Join us!

The state of New Mexico and Los Alamos County have declared October 2019 to be Archives Month. Without our archives staf...
10/10/2019

The state of New Mexico and Los Alamos County have declared October 2019 to be Archives Month. Without our archives staff and volunteers we couldn't do what we do!

What's one artifact you've seen in a museum that you really connected with?

Photo by Minesh Bacrania for the Los Alamos Historical Society.

#tbt #LosAlamosHistory #NewMexicoTrue

10/09/2019

Support our local National History Day students & travel back in time with mountain man James Ohio Pattie on Sunday, October 20th! This Chautauqua performance by Steven Dixon will bring you back to excitement and dangers of our mountains in 1824. Tickets are $10 ($5 for students). The performance is organized by the NHD students and ticket sales will help these high school historians travel to competition in the spring.

https://www.facebook.com/events/2311103188998439/

#LosAlamosHistory #NMTrue #NewMexicoTrue New Mexico Humanities Council

10/08/2019

Tuesday’s Quote for this week comes from A LOS ALAMOS READER, 1200 A.D. TO TODAY by Margaret Wohlberg. It was an in-house, stapled booklet that became the first publication of a fledgling historical society in 1976. Los Alamos County and the Los Alamos Bicentennial Commission were co-sponsors.
“Central School, one of the best-planned and constructed buildings on the site, was placed to the northwest of the pond and housed all twelve grades. It opened in October, 1943, with 140 students.
“The first year’s staff consisted of eight full-time teachers: Ruth Quinlan, Dorothy Hillhouse, Miss Saunders, and Ellen Tinsley teaching first through sixth grades; Alice (Mrs. Cyril) Smith, Jane (Mrs. Robert) Wilson, and Barbara Long teaching Social Studies, English, Science, and Math at the six-year high school. Part-time specialty courses were taught by scientists and housewives. By 1945, each scientist-father gave a lecture for the physics class, making Central School unique in having access to the world’s most famous physicists as guest lecturers.
“The school’s legal status was ‘private,’ and its name was Alpha School. No other details such as size, location, or personnel were made available. The town’s first graduates were Ellen Flanders and Jean Cline in 1944.”

10/06/2019

We are looking for someone who is able to work in the History Museum on Saturdays and/or Sundays. If you enjoy meeting new people from around the world and would like to work a few weekend hours, then this might be the job for you! (Paid position)

Does Carl Feynman resemble his father? It is always an interesting day at the History Museum!
10/04/2019

Does Carl Feynman resemble his father? It is always an interesting day at the History Museum!

We are delighted that Marlon Magdalena from Jemez Historic Site will be sharing a hands-on lesson as part of our October...
10/02/2019

We are delighted that Marlon Magdalena from Jemez Historic Site will be sharing a hands-on lesson as part of our October Time Travelers sessions. There are only a few spots still open, so register your elementary school student today! https://www.facebook.com/events/659331791212208/

This Tuesday’s Quote is from When Los Alamos was a Ranch School by Fermor S. and Peggy Pond Church.“The Los Alamos Ranch...
10/02/2019

This Tuesday’s Quote is from When Los Alamos was a Ranch School by Fermor S. and Peggy Pond Church.

“The Los Alamos Ranch School was a small settlement in a clearing at the edge of a forest of ponderosa pine. Even at its largest there were fewer than 200 people living in the community. The staff and students accounted for 50 or 60. The remaining were ranch employees and their families. There was not much more to begin with than a homesteader’s farmhouse, a few sheds, and a muddy puddle of water used for watering stock. — The puddle that would later go through some astonishing transformations ...”

Did you know that we also collect stories? Today we interviewed Rita and Charlie Apel, who have lived in Los Alamos for ...
09/27/2019

Did you know that we also collect stories? Today we interviewed Rita and Charlie Apel, who have lived in Los Alamos for over 70 years! Thank you for the stories.

Do you coordinate your outfits for grocery shopping? These two 1940s Los Alamos shoppers did!#tbt #LosAlamosHistory
09/26/2019

Do you coordinate your outfits for grocery shopping? These two 1940s Los Alamos shoppers did!

#tbt #LosAlamosHistory

09/24/2019

Tuesday’s Quote is from Volume II of DOOMED TO COOPERATE: How American and Russian scientists joined forces to avert some of the greatest post–Cold War nuclear dangers.

“It was a late spring evening as my Airbus 321 climbed from the runway in Antalya, Turkey, and turned toward Istanbul, taking me on the first leg of my return journey to my home in Los Alamos after my week at yet another conference. I was reminded once again of the unparalleled value of people meeting people, face-to-face, and my appreciation for that week’s opportunity was multiplied. In Turkey, indeed, with conflict raging on it’s eastern border with Syria, with massive conflict between insurgents and government forces in Afghanistan, and simmering instability in Ukraine, a scientific meeting had allowed my Russian colleagues and me to renew our mutual commitment to share (in whatever ways are permitted by our respective national policies) in the search for a common and deeper understanding of the world around us. It is a commitment that transcends the transient social and geopolitical differences that sometimes dominate relationships between nations and people, replacing those differences with pursuit of a common goal and, in the process, increasing understanding—and, hopefully, the future prospects for peace.” … Building Cooperation: Reflections on the Role of Scientific Conferences and Meetings in Lab-to-Lab Exchanges by Robert E. Reinovsky, Los Alamos National Laboratory

Oppie is on-the-road attending the Mountain Plains Museum Association meeting. #wheresoppie #MPMANewMexico
09/22/2019

Oppie is on-the-road attending the Mountain Plains Museum Association meeting. #wheresoppie #MPMANewMexico

Thank you for an amazing evening at the Gala last night. I’m so proud to be part of a town that values its history! In t...
09/22/2019

Thank you for an amazing evening at the Gala last night. I’m so proud to be part of a town that values its history! In this picture we raise a toast to Heather Heather Reed McClenahan, the winner of our annual History Award. Cheers!

09/19/2019

This Sunday, September 22, is the Los Alamos Historical Society's birthday. Thank you for 52 historic years!

#tbt

09/18/2019

Belated Tuesday's Quote!

In the days after the bombs had been dropped and it was clear that the war was over, the people who had been in Los Alamos for the many months of the Manhattan Project realized that they would soon be leaving and returning to their homes. For some, the ones who had come with the British Mission, home was a long distance away. They knew that they might never again see the friends they had made, close friends who had shared so much in those trying months. Eleanor Jette, wife of scientist Eric Jette, wrote of those feeling in her book, INSIDE BOX 1663:

Genia [wife of British scientist Rudy Peierls] said, “We will leave at the end of November. We want to go to Mexico before we leave. We might never have another chance.”

She, Martha [Parsons], and I took our children up Caballo before school opened. We had a beautiful day for the trip, and Genia rhapsodized as we rode up the trail. Warm sunshine trickled through the branches of the trees. She raised her face to it and closed her eyes.

“All my life I will remember this sunshine,” she whispered.

Show us where your Oppie is spending his days!!#wheresoppie #wherediscoveriesaremade #losalamoshistory
09/18/2019

Show us where your Oppie is spending his days!!

#wheresoppie #wherediscoveriesaremade #losalamoshistory

When was the last time you opened a hotel door with an actual KEY? We are looking for items, pictures and stories from F...
09/13/2019

When was the last time you opened a hotel door with an actual KEY? We are looking for items, pictures and stories from Fuller Lodge when it served as a hotel. Please check your attic and garage, and let us know if you find any "Lodge" treasures!

For #tbt, here's a photo of Duke Ellington (second from right) on March 12, 1949 when he and his band performed in Los A...
09/12/2019

For #tbt, here's a photo of Duke Ellington (second from right) on March 12, 1949 when he and his band performed in Los Alamos. Find this photo & more of the story in our new exhibit, Test Tube Community. And explore more music in museums on #MuseumDay, September 21! Visit https://www.smithsonianmag.com/museumday/museum-day-2019/ to get your ticket for free admission to our museum & many others!

Photo from the Los Alamos Historical Society Photo Archives.

#LosAlamosHistory #NMTrue #SmithsonianMusic

Join us and share where you are with your Oppie!#wheresoppie #livelosalamos #losalamoshistory
09/11/2019

Join us and share where you are with your Oppie!

#wheresoppie #livelosalamos #losalamoshistory

09/10/2019

Tuesday's Quote
Life in Los Alamos during the Manhattan Project lacked amenities and activities that had been enjoyed previous to arriving at Project Y or the Hill, as it was known. To make up for that loss, the residents on the isolated mesa took matters into their own hands.

“We had quite a few very good musicians on the Hill who were able to present concerts open to the mesa public. Sometimes we charged a fee and used the proceeds for some local charity—school equipment, cement for a swimming pool, etc. Otto Frisch and Winifred Moon of the British Mission both gave concerts for piano and violin. Several young wives gave piano recitals, and Willie Higinbotham and Fred Reines had a barbershop group. Busy as they were, everyone was quite willing to contribute what talent he or she had. There was a lot of chamber music, and little informal gatherings met in almost every neighborhood for practice.” — from Tales of Los Alamos: Life on the Mesa 1943-1945 by Bernice Brode

Address

1050 Bathtub Row
Los Alamos, NM
87544

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:00 - 17:00
Saturday 10:00 - 16:00
Sunday 10:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(505) 662-4493

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