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Open House 1940s

Some less-often-told tales from ORNL's colorful past.

"This wonderful old reactor." Veterans celebrated the Graphite Reactor's 50th anniversary in 1993.

Presidential visit, 1992: George H.W. Bush visited ORNL to sign a CRADA.

When Tiger Teams prowled: Tom Row spearheaded the controvers...

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The presidential primaries preceding the Election of 1992 were just cranking up when word came the incumbent, George H.W. Bush, would come to ORNL on Feb. 19 for the signing of a cooperative R&D agreement between the Laboratory, Y-12 and Coors Structural Ceramics Company.

Word of the impendin...

The Kennedys arrive at the Oak Ridge Research Reactor with ORNL Director Alvin Weinberg in 1959.

A film crew from Thailand visited ORNL in 2015, retracing the steps of that nation's revered King Bhumbidol Adulyadej. ORNL was a stop on the young king's high-level U.S. tour in 1960; photos from the visit show him touring the Oak Ridge Research Reactor with an attentive Atomic Energy Commission an...

George Parker (left) and co-worker P.M. Lantz doing chemical separations in 1949.

In early 1943 young chemist George Parker landed a job at Indiana Ordnance, run by E.I. Dupont de Nemours Co., and took a night class taught by a Purdue University professor who had just returned from a trip to the University of Tennessee.

"He said that he had just come from Knoxville where he vi...

Deb Austin lifts the top of the Graphite Reactor model.

A historic ORNL relic has turned up in a central campus office. The portable scale model of the Graphite Reactor was once used for show-and-tells during ORNL's early days.

The model was saved from being discarded years ago by Mark Baldwin, a now-retired environment, safety and health organization...

The Holifield Facility's tower.

When the end of the Holifield Radioactive Ion Beam Facility was ordained in 2012, it came as a surprise to many. The facility had just completed nearly $10 million in upgrades and researchers were looking forward to new experiments at the facility that provides ORNL with its most recognizable landma...

ORNL's 'hot frogs' were an international sensation in 1991.

In the summer of 1991, radioactive giant frogs from Oak Ridge roamed the Tennessee hills, looming over tall buildings and terrorizing livestock and the public. At least this was the story that made its way into the supermarket tabloids, which took an actual wildlife-related event at ORNL and ran wit...