New Mexico community marks opening of Manhattan Project park

Trinity Test
FILE - This July 16, 1945 photo, shows the mushroom cloud of the first atomic explosion at Trinity Test Site, New Mexico. Thursday, July 16, 2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the Trinity Test in southern New Mexico comes amid renewed interest in the Manhattan Project thanks to new books, online video testimonies and the WGN America drama series “Manhattan.(AP Photo, File)

LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (AP) – Residents of a once secret government city in northern New Mexico are marking the beginnings of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park with the opening of a visitor center.

A crowd of Los Alamos County elected leaders, military veterans, history buffs and officials with the National Park Service and Los Alamos National Laboratory gathered outside the new visitor center for an unveiling ceremony Wednesday.

The event follows a signing ceremony in Washington, D.C., that established the park at sites in New Mexico, Washington and Tennessee.

Federal officials say the goal is to preserve the places where the atomic bomb was developed and share the stories of the scientists, soldiers and communities that were involved in the top secret work.

Events also were being held this week at the other sites.

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