Tennessee

Photo of the Day

Entrance to K-25, an uranium enrichment facility, 1945.

Birthplace of the Atomic Bomb

Top Secret City: Oak Ridge

The “Little Boy” bomb that was dropped on Hiroshima, was made with uranium-235 from Oak Ridge.

Here is a collection of historical photos from Oak Ridge, Tennessee, a town established by the Army Corps of Engineers in 1942 on an isolated farm. It was a secret location that became one of the most significant sites of the Manhattan Project.

Thousands of people who lived and worked in Oak Ridge, Tennessee during the 1940’s had no idea what they were actually doing every day, performing their tasks as directed without asking questions, surrounded by constant reminders that they needed to keep their traps shut or else. It wasn’t until the United States bombed Hiroshima in 1945 that they learned they were processing uranium as part of The Manhattan Project, many of them exposed to radiation for years.

When the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour on Dec. 7, 1941, the area that would become Oak Ridge was 59,000 acres of century-old farmlands and rural communities. But in 1942, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers purchased the land that would become the first and largest of the three?Manhattan Project?sites. But just two and a half years after Oak Ridge was founded in 1942, the city sky-rocketed to a population of 75,000, making it the fifth-largest city in Tennessee and the largest of the three Manhattan Project?sites.

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Photo of the Day

Hotel CCTV showing Blair Adams at the front desk at 6:51 p.m. Source: YouTube.

Blair Adams Mystery

The death of a young man found in a Tennessee parking lot remains a mystery.

The events that transpired prior to the mysterious death of the British Columbia resident seemed to make no sense at all. He had suddenly exhibited an acute case of paranoia and thought someone was trying to kill him. Authorities who later investigated his death believed that his fear did not stem from anything real. But then how and why did he end up murdered thousands of miles away? Was it really just psychotic paranoia, or could someone have really tracked him all that way and take his life in cold blood? This is the strange mystery of Blair Adams.

On the morning of July 11, 1996, 32-year-old Blair Adams was found dead in a deserted parking lot in Knoxville, Tennessee. Adams had travelled over 3,000 kilometres (2,000 mi) from his hometown of Surrey, British Columbia, for unexplained reasons. Adams worked as a construction foreman, but in the weeks prior to his death, he had been displaying erratic and paranoid behaviour and seemed certain that someone was trying to kill him.

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Photo of the Day

Georgia Tann is shown in a photograph dated August 1947. The Memphis branch of the Tennessee Children's Home opened in 1922. It was to close 28 years later amid national publicity fueled by charges that the director, Miss Tann, was operating a black market baby racket. (The Commercial Appeal)

Georgia Tann is shown in a photograph dated August 1947. The Memphis branch of the Tennessee Children’s Home opened in 1922. It was to close 28 years later amid national publicity fueled by charges that the director, Miss Tann, was operating a black market baby racket.?

Baby Stealer – Baby Thief – Murderer

All words attributed to the highly terrifying story of Georgia Tann, a Child Trafficker who operated out of Memphis, Tennessee before the State closed her Operation?

To childless couples, Georgia Tann was a salvation. From 1924 to 1950, Tann headed the Tennessee Children’s Home Society, a highly respected adoption agency. During her tenure, permanent homes were found for more than 5,000 babies. Joan Crawford, Mary Pickford and Dick Powell and June Allyson were just a few of the famous people who received their children from the home. But Tann guarded a deep, dark secret: a vast majority of these children were actually stolen from their natural parents.

The kind woman shows up at the door of the poor abandoned girl who has recently given birth to a baby. “I will feed and care for your child,” says the kind woman, “until you are healthy and able. Just sign this little paper.” And the kind woman takes the baby and the girl never sees her baby again, because the kind woman sells the baby to new parents in a distant city or, if the baby is sick or otherwise unsalable, she allows the baby to die of neglect and malnutrition or even of abuse.

That scenario may sound like the dark side of a fairy tale, but that seemingly kind woman, accepted for most of her life as a model of civic virtue, lived in Memphis.

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Photo of the Day

Mary the Elephant. The town considered guns, electrocution and dismemberment before settling on hanging. Mary hanging from a 100-ton derrick in Erwin, Tennessee.

Mary the Elephant. The town considered guns, electrocution and dismemberment before settling on hanging. Mary hanging from a 100-ton derrick in Erwin, Tennessee.

Murderous Mary, The Elephant that was Hung for Murder, 1916

One hundred years ago, on September 13, 1916, Mary the elephant was hung by a railroad derrick car at the Clinchfield Railroad yard. Mary was a five-ton Asian elephant who performed in the Sparks World Famous Shows circus.

Charles H. Sparks owned the show and it had a reputation in the entertainment world as being a 100% “Sunday School” Circus. That is, no short change artist-a clean family entertainment. Charles Sparks had been in the circus business since the late 1800’s. The circus purchased its first elephant in 1896. That was Mary. She was four years old and four feet high. At that time the show was a horse and wagon show. By 1905, they had grown to railroad transportation with one railroad car. By 1906, they had three rail cars; by 1916, the show had expanded to fifteen rail cars and five elephants.

In the early 1900s, it wasn’t uncommon for humans to use their waxing technological prowess for the express purpose of?torturing?the hell out of animals. In one particularly mind-boggling incident, a five-ton circus elephant named Mary was condemned to death by hanging after her owners nixed executions by firearms, dismemberment, and electrocution.

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Photo of the Day

Todd Matthews first heard about "Tent Girl" in 1987 when he was 17-years-old. Investigators were unable to identify the woman, who was found dead in Kentucky in 1968. It was the first time Matthews had heard about a Jane Doe and he spent the next 11 years of his life working to give "Tent Girl" a name. The amateur sleuth's commitment to missing persons cases, eventually led him to his current role with the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. Photo: NBC.

Todd Matthews first heard about “Tent Girl” in 1987 when he was 17-years-old. Investigators were unable to identify the woman, who was found dead in Kentucky in 1968. It was the first time Matthews had heard about a Jane Doe and he spent the next 11 years of his life working to give “Tent Girl” a name. The amateur sleuth’s commitment to missing persons cases, eventually led him to his current role with the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. Photo: NBC.

Naming the Nameless

It all started with “Tent Girl”?

“Who founded Doe Network? A single person did not found or create the Doe Network that we know and use today.”
– Todd Matthews

The Doe Network began as a website in 1999, evolving into an informal volunteer organization in 2001, and finally evolving into an official 501c on July 29, 2011.

It all started for Todd Matthews with the?”Tent Girl,? so called because her body was found wrapped up in a canvas tent bag. It started with a ghost story shared among teenagers. It was Halloween night 1987. A 17-year-old Matthews listened as friends tried to spook each other with scary tales — but one story told was true.

Lori Riddle, the woman who would become Matthews? wife, spoke of the dead body her father stumbled upon in Scott County, Kentucky in the spring of 1968.

Lori had come to Tennessee from Kentucky and told Matthews how her father Wilbur Riddle had found a murdered girl in a field near Georgetown in the 1960s.
Her name, Tent Girl struck Matthews soul. It was as if it were almost familiar. As Lori and her family became part of his own family, so did the Tent Girl. Two of his siblings had died of natural causes as infants early on in his life, and Tent Girl was no different to them in his mind.

Matthews had a place to visit his siblings, but Tent Girl didn’t have any family.

So Tent Girl became part of his own family, and he became determined to find out who she was.

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Photo Of The Day

Photo: Ed Westcott. Billboards across the town reminded the residents of Oak Bridge to stay tight-lipped and motivated for the job at hand? even if they didn?t understand what they were doing it for.

Photo: Ed Westcott.
Billboards across the town reminded the residents of Oak Bridge to stay tight-lipped and motivated for the job at hand? even if they didn?t understand what they were doing it for.

Oak Ridge Confidential

Cautionary billboards were posted all throughout town warning residents to never speak about their work. Some billboards also had a little extra motivation for people, who did not understand what they were doing it for.

Due to the sensitive nature of the work at Oak Ridge, the entire town was fenced in with armed guards and the entire place was a secret of the highest concern.

Before the fight to win women equal footing in the workplace, there was the fight against Hitler and Hirohito. In the depths of World War II, everyone in America had to pitch in, men and women alike. And in 1943 the government offered war jobs, lots of them, in a town called Oak Ridge, Tenn.

Where is it on a map? What do they do there? What will I do there? The government didn’t give any answers to those questions ? and still the recruits, many of them young women, streamed in.

The one thing they did know was that the work they were going to do there was going to help end the war.

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