Janet Farrell Brodie is a history professor emerita at Claremont Graduate University. She is completing a book about the process by which the Trinity Site in New Mexico, the site of the first atomic bomb detonation, became a national historical landmark. She is also working on a book examining institutional and individual engagements with the radiation from atomic weapons in the first decade after World War II when civilians in wide-ranging fields and institutions across America grappled with the mysteries of nuclear radiation and with the new imperatives of national security secrecy surrounding anything to do with nuclear energy.
Atomic tourism has become an international phenomenon. Tourists flock to sites of nuclear disasters such as Chernobyl and Fukushima, or to birthplaces and production sites of nuclear weapons such as, in the U.S., Oak Ridge, Hanford, Rocky Flats, Los Alamos. The site of the first atomic bomb—the Trinity National Historic Landmark in New Mexico has become one of these popular tourist destinations even though it is open to the public only twice a year. My lecture examines the rise and implications of nuclear tourism with a focus on the Trinity atomic bomb site.