UNITED STATES NEWS

‘Oppenheimer’ fanfare likely to fuel record attendance at New Mexico’s Trinity atomic bomb test site

Oct 20, 2023, 11:31 PM

WHITE SANDS MISSILE RANGE, N.M. (AP) — Thousands of visitors are expected to descend Saturday on the southern New Mexico site where the world’s first atomic bomb was detonated, with officials preparing for a record turnout amid ongoing fanfare surrounding Christopher Nolan’s blockbuster film, “ Oppenheimer.”

Trinity Site, a designated National Historic Landmark, is usually closed to the public because of its proximity to the impact zone for missiles fired at White Sands Missile Range. But twice a year, in April and October, the site opens to spectators.

This may be the first time gaining entry will be like getting a golden ticket to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory.

White Sands officials warned online that the wait to enter the gates could be as long as two hours. No more than 5,000 visitors are expected to make it within the window between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Visitors also are being warned to come prepared as Trinity Site is in a remote area with limited Wi-Fi and no cell service or restrooms.

“Oppenheimer,” the retelling of the work of J. Robert Oppenheimer and the top-secret Manhattan Project during World War II, was a summer box office smash. Scientists and military officials established a secret city in Los Alamos during the 1940s and tested their work at the Trinity Site some 200 miles (322 kilometers) away.

Part of the film’s success was due to the “Barbenheimer” phenomenon in which filmgoers made a double feature outing of the “Barbie” movie and “Oppenheimer.”

While the lore surrounding the atomic bomb has become pop culture fodder, it was part of a painful reality for residents who lived downwind of Trinity Site. The Tularosa Basin Downwinders plan to protest outside the gates to remind visitors about a side of history they say the movie failed to acknowledge.

The group says the U.S. government never warned residents about the testing. Radioactive ash contaminated soil and water. Rates of infant mortality, cancer and other illnesses increased. There are younger generations dealing with health issues now, advocates say.

The Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium has worked with the Union of Concerned Scientists and others for years to bring attention to the Manhattan Project’s impact. A new documentary by filmmaker Lois Lipman, “First We Bombed New Mexico,” made its world premiere Friday at the Santa Fe International Film Festival.

The notoriety from “Oppenheimer” has been embraced in Los Alamos, more than 200 miles (321 kilometers) north of the Tularosa Basin. About 200 locals, many of them Los Alamos National Laboratory employees, were extras in the film, and the city hosted an Oppenheimer Festival in July.

United States News

Associated Press

Guest lineups for the Sunday news shows

WASHINGTON (AP) — ABC’s “This Week” — Preempted by coverage of the Monaco Grand Prix. ___ NBC’s “Meet the Press” — A panel of secretaries of state with Jocelyn Benson, D-Mich., Brad Raffensperger, R-Ga., Adrian Fontes, D-Ariz., and Al Schmidt, R-Pa. ___ CBS’ “Face the Nation” — Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg; Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn.; […]

32 minutes ago

Associated Press

Mississippi man accused of destroying statue of pagan idol at Iowa state Capitol takes plea deal

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — A Mississippi man accused of destroying a statue of a pagan idol at Iowa’s state Capitol pleaded guilty Friday to a reduced charge in return for prosecutors dropping a felony hate crime count. Michael Cassidy, a former congressional and legislative candidate, was set for trial June 3, but his attorney […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Case dismissed against Maryland couple accused of patient privacy violations to help Russia

BALTIMORE (AP) — A federal judge has tossed a case against a Maryland couple accused of divulging patients’ medical records as part of a conspiracy to aid Russia after its invasion of Ukraine. U.S. District Court Judge Stephanie Gallagher on Wednesday said the government “bungled” speedy trial procedures ahead of an attempted retrial and dismissed […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Voting rights advocates ask federal judge to toss Ohio voting restrictions they say violate ADA

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Voting rights advocates asked a federal judge on Friday to strike down restrictions contained in Ohio’s sweeping 2023 election law that they say restrict a host of trusted individuals from helping voters with disabilities cast absentee ballots. The motion for summary judgment came in a lawsuit filed in December under the […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

American is flying home after getting suspended sentence for ammo possession in Turks and Caicos

PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands (AP) — An American arrested in the Caribbean for illegally carrying ammunition received a suspended sentence Friday, according to a spokesperson for the Turks and Caicos Islands, and his spokesman said he was flying back to the United States. Bryan Hagerich was sentenced to one year, suspended and fined $6,700, […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Man sentenced to 25 years for teaching bomb-making to person targeting authorities

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A federal judge on Friday sentenced a North Carolina man to 25 years in prison for teaching someone how to make bombs meant to kill federal law enforcement officers. A jury had found Christopher Arthur, 40, guilty in 2023 for the bomb-related charges, as well as for illegally possessing weapons, including […]

3 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.

‘Oppenheimer’ fanfare likely to fuel record attendance at New Mexico’s Trinity atomic bomb test site