Tag Archives: Rocky Flats

Full Body Burden

15 Jun


“Part memoir, part investigative journalism, Full Body Burden is a tale that will haunt your dreams.” –John Dufresne

Kristen Iversen’s “superbly crafted tale of Cold War America’s dark underside” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) draws on many of the 160 oral history interviews about the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant that are archived in the Boulder Public Library’s Maria Rogers Oral History collection (www.boulderlibrary.org/oralhistory, click on “Special Collections,” then on “Rocky Flats” in the blue box that appears on the left side of the screen).

In alternating chapters, Iversen tells the story of her family’s secrets and Rocky Flats’ secrects and the ways in which they intersected for her as she grew up in Arvada, Colorado.

Iversen’s book is available for checkout at each of the Boulder Public Library’s circulating branches. You can hear her speak on Monday, June 18, at 7:30 p.m. at Unity Church in an event sponsored by the Boulder Bookstore ($10 voucher required; good for a discount on the book).

Get Your Red-Hot New Interviews Here!

25 Oct

John Sand III, President of the Gold Hill Club, was interviewed about Gold Hill history by Caitlin McKenna not long before the recent Fourmile Fire.

THIS JUST OUT: our fall newsletter with descriptions of 18 new interviews that have been added to our online archive. You can read the newsletter online. To hear the new interviews, including one with John Sand III who tells about the history of Gold Hill, its community spirit and ongoing efforts at preservation, visit the archive.

The new recordings include a series of interviews conducted by the fourth-grade members of the Whittier Student Historians Club, in which they interviewed people who attended Whittier Elementary School long ago.

Also included are interviews with people from the group Boulder Action for Soviet Jewry (BASJ), which formed twenty years ago to obtain the release of “refuseniks,” Jewish people who had been refused permission to emigrate from the former Soviet Union and suffered severe discrimination as a consequence of both their religion and their desire to leave the country. The interviews record the experiences of BASJ organizers; those who helped with resettlement; and those who immigrated, becoming “New Americans.”  This project is an ongoing one, undertaken in conjunction with former BASJ members and the University of Colorado’s Jewish Studies program. Look for additional interviews in our winter and spring newsletters.

In addition, this edition of our newsletter contains descriptions of interviews about the history of and life in Gold Hill, and interviews with a member of the Boulder Potters Guild, a long-time Boulder attorney, and a former Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant administrator who describes working to change the culture of safety at the now-defunct plant.

The Gift of Nonviolence

17 May

LAST WEEK, our oral history program was fortunate enough to receive a donation of three videos that use techniques pioneered by the Center for Digital Storytelling to create a visually dynamic, emotionally engaging way to share personal stories.

This week, we’d like to share with you the first of those digital storytelling videos. “The Gift of Nonviolence” is Dr. LeRoy Moore’s moving account of how an abusive childhood taught him an important lesson about nonviolence, which later shaped his career. Dr. Moore went on to teach courses in nonviolent social change at the University of Colorado and used nonviolence to work for the closure and cleanup of the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant.

To create this video, Dr. Moore worked with students of Dr. Kayann Short’s class “Innovative Approaches to Contemporary Issues through Service.”  This video is archived on The Memory Box Project site online (www.colorado.edu/memorybox) and at the Boulder Library’s Carnegie Branch Library for Local History. The Boulder Library will be exploring more uses of Digital Storytelling in the coming year.

To hear longer interviews with Dr. Moore and many others about Rocky Flats, visit www.boulderlibrary.org/oralhistory.

Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant: See the Movie, Hear the Interviews

16 Apr

Two members of our oral history program traveled to the Southwest Oral History Association conference last week to give a presentation about our collection of oral histories about the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant. You can watch an introductory movie about the stories of Rocky Flats here: http://vimeo.com/10986262

Rocky Flats, located on the outskirts of Denver, was a key part of the nuclear weapons complex charged with implementing the nuclear deterrence policy of the United States in the Cold War against the Soviet Union. The plant, opened in the early 1950s, manufactured the plutonium pit that is the explosive detonator of a hydrogen bomb.

Initially, the plant was greeted as a boon to the regional economy. Workers at all levels flocked to the plant: it was at the leading edge of Continue reading

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