EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – The world changed forever about a half hour before dawn on July 16, 1945.
That’s when a group of scientists, working on the top-secret Manhattan Project, ushered in the atomic age.
The first atomic bomb was tested about a 2 hours drive from El Paso in what is now the northern part of White Sands Missile Range.
Now I am become Death, the Destroyer of worldsRobert Oppenheimer
Newspaper accounts of the time reported a mysterious flash of bright light being seen through much of New Mexico and even in El Paso.
Homes were shaken and windows broken in Gallup, New Mexico.
The successful test took place about 35 miles southeast of Socorro, New Mexico, just two weeks before two atomic bombs were dropped on Imperial Japan, ending World War II.
The Army told the public that an ammo dump explosion had happened at what was then called the Alamogordo Bombing Range, which would later become White Sands Missile Range.
On Saturday, Oct. 15, White Sands Missile Range will open up the Trinity Site to public viewing for one of its twice-a-year open houses.
The event is free and no reservations are required.
At the site, visitors can take a quarter-mile walk to ground zero and see where a small obelisk marks the exact spot where the bomb was detonated.
A fence that secures the area is lined with old photos that give visitors a glimpse into the past.
Visitors can also ride a shuttle bus from ground zero to a ranch house where scientists assembled the plutonium core of the bomb.
The simplest way to get to the Trinity Site is to enter White Sands Missile Range through the Stallion Range Center gate. Stallion gate is located five miles south of U.S. Highway 380. The turnoff is 12 miles east of San Antonio, New Mexico, or 53 miles west of Carrizozo. The gate will be open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visitors arriving at the gate between those hours will be allowed to drive unescorted 17 miles to Trinity Site. The road is paved and well marked. The site closes promptly at 3:30 p.m.
Media registration or more information about the open house, click here.