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National Museum of Nuclear Science & History

Oral Histories

Robert Franklin’s Interview

Robert Franklin is the assistant director of the Hanford History Project. In this role, he is the archivist and oral historian for the Department of Energy’s Hanford Collection and Washington State University’s collections on Hanford. He attended Washington State University in Pullman and earned his Master’s degree in history. In graduate school, he took a graduate-level seminar on the Hanford oral history project, which sparked his interest in Hanford and the impacts of the Manhattan Project on the rural, agricultural communities in Washington. In this interview, Franklin discusses the general history of Hanford, displacement of Hanford area residents during the Manhattan Project, and current efforts to preserve the site. He also describes some of the pre-Manhattan Project properties that can be visited today, including the White Bluffs Bank.

Paula and Ludwig Bruggemann’s Interview

Paula and Ludwig Bruggemann were born outside of Yakima, Washington in the agricultural community of White Bluffs. Their father owned a prosperous fruit farm in White Bluffs along the Columbia River before the U.S. government forced the family in 1943 to relocate from the area to make way for construction of the Hanford Site. In this interview, the Bruggemanns discuss their brief years in White Bluffs, family history, the ranch, and the years that followed their displacement from White Bluffs. They recall what life on the ranch was like, and the sort of amenities their home had.