Boulder City - The Magazine is a monthly publication full of information about Boulder City and Southern Nevada. Boulder City - The Magazine features the Boulder City Home Guide, a real estate guide to Boulder City and Southern Nevada.

North Thru Nevada
by Everett Chase

Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas
While the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste storage project remains steeped in controversy, neighboring Nevada Test Site has become history, and the Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas is making Test Site history; something to be remembered and enjoyed.

The Nevada Test Site Historical Foundation was established in 1998 to preserve history while fostering public accessibility to the artifacts associated with the Nevada Test Site. The Atomic Testing Museum is a venue for relating the 54-year story of the often controversial government location.

The museum provides an eclectic collection of equipment from the Nevada Test Site which is presented as visitors wind their way through the pathways of history.

Videos, still photos, movies and related interactive displays associated with nuclear testing provide not only a collection of interesting items, but the history of that important period in Nevada and neighboring states during the "Cold War" nuclear proliferation.

The Atomic Testing Museum is a long overdue program developed to provide an audio-visual reality of what occured during nuclear testing, beginning when the first bomb dropped on the test site from an Air Force B-50D on January 27, 1951.

The museum provides the story from that 1951 beginning when "Able" began a new era in history. Certainly for people in Las Vegas, and other towns surrounding the site, Tonapah, Beaty, Caliente and Pioche, all would have their lives changed forever.

Watching from the rooftops and peering through windows of Las Vegas hotels and casinos, one could see the flash of light across the sky from the nuclear explosions, followed by mushroom clouds drifting with the winds.

Walking through the corridors of the Atomic Testing Museum, the visitor is presented with an array of historic momentos and interactive displays telling the story of the test site, and the effects on events throughout the world. During that sensitive time in history, nuclear war seemed to be, if not imminent, certainly scary.

The majority of the ephemera in the museum has been collected from the Nevada Test Site, 65 miles north of Las Vegas. Keepsakes from the Test Site, however, are unlikely to be found by the casual passerby. Although not under a veil of secrecy, the Nevada Test Site still remains at a reasonably high level of security.

The Museum is not just a collection of bent metal and rusty gadgets, but a well thought out and professional display incorporating a timeline of audio visual presentations to help the history flow.

Walking through the museum is a walk through atomic testing history paralleling the history and life of the time. One will follow famous men and women, foreign and domestic, political and military, who had an affect on our lives.

Probably one of the most exciting and interesting exhibits is a documentary film showing early tests and training of soldiers to see their reaction when an atomic explosion occured.

Somewhat sobering, however, the movie shows those soldiers huddled in their trenches to experience the shock and effect of the detonation, then climbing out and making a charge toward ground zero.

The movie is a Disneyland type presentation with all the noise of an explosion and the motion of an earthquake.

You may enjoy the displays by visiting the Atomic Testing Museum in the Frank Rogers Science & Technology Building at 755 E. Famingo Road, Las Vegas. Phone 702-794-5151.

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