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Oak Ridge petition, mid-July 1945

Source: U.S. National Archives, Record Group 77, Records of the Chief of Engineers, Manhattan Engineer District, Harrison-Bundy File, folder #76.

Leo Szilard sent copies of the July 3 version of his petition to the Manhattan Project laboratory at Oak Ridge, Tennessee. After discussion and debate, the Oak Ridge scientists produced two similar petitions.

The undated petition reproduced below called for the atomic bomb to be "adequately described and demonstrated" before use. This petition received 67 signatures, which are listed here in alphabetical order.


An article by petition signer Howard Gest, The July 1945 Szilard Petition on the Atomic Bomb: Memoir by a signer in Oak Ridge, is available online at http://www.bio.indiana.edu/Gest/

To the President of the United States:

We, the undersigned scientific personnel of the Clinton Laboratories, believe that the world-wide social and political consequences of the power of the weapon now being developed on this Project impose a special moral obligation on the government and people of the United States in introducing the weapon in warfare.

It is further believed that the power of this weapon should be made known by demonstration to the peoples of the world, irrespective of the course of the present conflict, for in this way the body of world opinion may be made the determining factor in the absolute preservation of peace.

Therefore we recommend that before this weapon be used without restriction in the present conflict, its powers should be adequately described and demonstrated, and the Japanese nation should be given the opportunity to consider the consequences of further refusal to surrender. We feel that this course of action will heighten the effectiveness of the weapon in this war and will be of tremendous effect in the prevention of future wars.

[listed in alphabetical order:]

1. A. W. Adamson
2. Nathan E. Ballou
3. James G. Barrick
4. J. O. Blomeke
5. Edward G. Bohlmann
6. F. Boldridge
7. C. J. Borkowski
8. Melvin G. Bowman
9. Edward L. Brady
10. A. R. Brosi
11. Harrison S. Brown
12. W. H. Burgus
13. Robert L. Butenhoff
14. Waldo E. Cohn
15. Charles D. Coryell
16. Elwin H. Covey
17. M. Creek
18. John R. Dam
19. Jack K. East
20. Raymond R. Edwards
21. Norman Elliot
22. S. G. English
23. Bernard J. Finkle
24. Howard Gest
25. L. H. Gevantman
26. John A. Ghormley
27. L. E. Glendenin
28. Lionel S. Goldring
29. Joseph Halperin
30. D. N. Hume
31. John P. Hunt
32. Alan Jarrett
33. Glenn H. Jenks
34. Gordon Johnson
35. B. H. Ketelle
36. Joseph Khym
37. William J. Knox
38. D. E. Koshland, Jr.
39. Kurt A. Kraus
40. Jim Kroner
41. R. F. Leininger
42. William B. Leslie
43. Dwight C. Lincoln
44. Ralph Livingston
45. John P. McBride
46. L. T. McClinton
47. A. J. Miller
48. R. K. Money
49. Cecil M. Nelson
50. Theodore B. Novey
51. John B. Otto
52. Robert A. Penneman
53. Earl R. Purchase
54. Stanley Rasmussen
55. Walton A. Rodger
56. J. E. Sattizahn
57. Donald S. Schover
58. Robert B. Scott
59. Edward Shapiro
60. Jack Siegel
61. Charles W. Stanley
62. R. W. Stoughton
63. Paul C. Tompkins
64. Elton H. Turk
65. Clinton R. Vanneman
66. Louis B. Werner
67. Russell R. Williams, Jr.

Note: These names were transcribed from hand-written signatures. Although efforts have been made to verify correct spelling, errors may remain. Thanks to Charles W. Stanley for correcting names 48 and 56.


Copyright Notice: Copyright © 1995-2001 by Gene Dannen (gene@dannen.com). Based on an original archive document believed to be in the public domain.

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Created: June 16, 1995 -- Last modified: June 4, 2001
URL: http://www.dannen.com/decision/oakridge2.html
Gene Dannen / gene@dannen.com