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National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Dimas Chavez was a young child when he moved to Los Alamos with his family in August 1943. Chavez’s father, Trinidad, joined the Zia Company at Los Alamos, where he helped construct and maintain the laboratories and facilities there.

Chavez’s family lived in a small house next to Bathtub Row near the home of J. Robert Oppenheimer. Dimas attended Los Alamos Central School, but he struggled to learn the English language and soon fell behind in classes. Dimas’ mother, Juanita, secretely arranged private tutoring for her son by agreeing to share her cooking recipes with some of the scientists’ wives who would walk by their home and smell the aroma of her Mexican dishes. One of Dimas’ tutors was Mrs. Lois Bradbury, whose husband Norris later became director of the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

In order to make money, Dimas began selling the Santa Fe New Mexican newspaper T1-A to scientists leaving the technical area on their way home from work. One of the scientists who always bought a newspaper, Dimas soon discovered, was Dr. Oppenheimer.

Dimas Chavez's Timeline
1937 May 27th Born in Torreon, New Mexico.
1943 Aug 15th Moved to Los Alamos, where his father joined the Zia Company and helped construct facilities for the Manhattan Project.

Dimas Chavez and his First Communion class at Los Alamos

Dimas Chavez's 2nd grade photo

Juanita Chavez, Dimas's mother, on her wedding day in 1936

Dimas Chavez receiving his First Communions at Los Alamos, in 1944 or 1945

Dinas Chavez in 1943 in Santa Fe, wearing an Army uniform

Dimas and his aunt with his father's Model Ford, 1950

Dimas Chavez graduating from high school in 1955, with his mother and father

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