The new city was crowded - all 90 dorms of singles, housing for families at a premium. In May the population peaked at 75,000. Y-12 had 22,400 workers; K-25, 11,000; X-10, 1,500. People at the plants were urged to work harder than ever at their jobs, most had no inkling their work this spring was coming to a climax. Germany surrendered in May, and the focus was shifted to the Pacific where fighting for the islands was fierce. Out new President Truman met with Churchill and Stalin at Potsdam, Germany and issued a final ultimatum to the Japanese Government to stop the war or face "prompt and utter destruction". The first atomic bomb, August 6th, did not bring peace, but the second did. Oak Ridgers were thrilled to learn that their work, done in such urgency and secrecy, had helped to finally bring peace to an aching world. Even Knoxville - skeptical of those strangers in their valley - was finally proud of them. Journalists at the next turn of the century would rank this as the top news story of the 20th century.
Erected by the Oak Ridge Breakfast Rotary Club, Chartered 1995, June 2005.