With Oppenheimer heading to the movies this week a lot of people are doing research on the famous nuclear test. Turns out, that could have happened in Texas.

The Famous Trinity Test

July 16th, 1945 was when we officially entered the Atomic Age. Since the 1930's, research on nuclear weapons had been taking place around the world. However, it was a race to see who would be the first to successfully make an atomic bomb. In America, the Manhattan Project lead by J. Robert Oppenheimer were the first to successfully test what they had dubbed 'The Gadget'. That test could have been in Texas.

Alamogordo Bombing and Gunnery Range in New Mexico

Getty Images

This is where the Trinity Test took place back in the day. Organizers with The Manhattan Project actually looked at eight potential sites for the detonation. Half of them were in New Mexico. The other four?

  • The San Luis Valley near the Great Sand Dunes National Monument in Colorado
  • A Desert Training Area in California
  • San Nicolas Island in Southern California
  • The sand bars of Padre Island, Texas.

Yeah, a place where many people would consider a nice summer vacation was almost a nuclear testing site for the first ever atomic bomb. Safety and security required a remote, isolated and unpopulated area. The scientists also wanted a flat area to minimize secondary effects of the blast, and with little wind to spread radioactive fallout. The Padre Island idea was scrapped after it did not hit all the necessary requirements for the test.

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After reading about the effects that folks in nearby communities had to deal with for years due to the testing of the atomic bomb. Be thankful this thing wasn't tested in Texas. Reports have folks in Amarillo, Texas (300 miles from the New Mexico site) having effects from the nuclear fallout. If you're interested in more info on the Trinity Test, check out this link here.

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