Vice President Mike Pence invited to opening of ‘Secret City’ gates

The Board of the Oak Ridge Heritage and Preservation Association (ORHPA) has issued an invitation letter to Vice President Mike Pence to attend the historic 70th anniversary of the opening of the security gates of World War II’s “Secret City” of Oak Ridge. The gate-opening allowed the American public to enter the Manhattan Project’s Secret City for the very first time.

The Gate-Opening commemoration will be held in Oak Ridge Saturday, March 23.

Tennessee’s Lieutenant Governor Randy McNally also issued an invitation letter to the Vice President saying, “I truly hope you will be able to attend this momentous occasion honoring the many men and women whose efforts and sacrifices have allowed for the continued prosperity of the United States of America and the world.”

“We deeply appreciate Lt. Governor McNally’s interest and support,” said Terry Domm, President of ORHPA. “Opening the Oak Ridge city gates began a new era of international stability and human achievement.”

Civilization has now traversed seven full decades without a World War III.

“That’s an amazing achievement, given that World Wars I and II were so catastrophic and separated by only twenty years,” said Martin McBride, the ORHPA Board Member who initially proposed the invitation.

In March 1949, United States Vice President Alben W. Barkley presided at the original gate-opening celebration.

The Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission (now the Department of Energy) was in attendance as was the Tennessee Governor. Thousands crowded into the city on that afternoon for a first glimpse of the incredible atomic city.

This year’s commemoration will honor: (a) the amazing efforts of 100,000 Americans who labored within Oak Ridge to end WWII; (b) the 50 to 70 million who died on four continents and throughout the world’s oceans during that tragic conflict; and (c) the brilliant combination of DOE’s amazing nuclear complex and America’s wonderful military---that has kept mankind backed-away from the precipice of WWIII since then.

For further information on the ORHPA invitation, please contact Terry Domm at or Martin McBride at , (865) 482-5386.