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Illinois’s Role In creating Atomic Bomb
Date & Time
12:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Illinois and the Nuclear Age

Lincoln Presidential Library’s ‘History Forum’ looks at state’s role in creating the atomic bomb 

SPRINGFIELD – The road to modern nuclear plants, and to the devastation at Hiroshima and Nagasaki, began in Illinois, a connection that will be the focus of the next Illinois History Forum at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

Plutonium was first isolated at the University of Chicago. A few months later, in December 1942, a team at the university achieved the first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction, which led to creation of the atomic bomb.

Historian Mark DePue will lead the discussion at the history forum at noon on Sept. 12 in the library building (112 N. Sixth Street, Springfield). Want to prepare a bit before the discussion? We suggest reading "The Making of the Atomic Bomb" by Richard Rhodes.

The event is free, and participants are welcome to bring lunch. 

The discussion is offered in conjunction with the special exhibit “In This Great Struggle: The Greatest Generation Remembers World War II,” which can be seen in the museum’s Illinois Gallery for the rest of the year. The exhibit, which is generously supported by AT&T, features interviews with veterans, posters from the war and an incredible selection of war artifacts and documents.

The Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum uses a combination of rigorous scholarship and high-tech showmanship to immerse visitors in the life and times of Abraham Lincoln.  Visitors can see ghosts come to life on stage, watch TV coverage of the 1860 presidential election, roam through the Lincoln White House, experience booming cannons in a Civil War battle and come face to face with priceless original Lincoln artifacts.

The library holds an unparalleled collection of Lincoln books, documents, photographs, artifacts and art, as well as some 12 million items pertaining to all aspects of Illinois history. 

Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library
112 North 6th Street
Springfield, IL