People would ask Martha Frederick why she came home from work covered in black dust.
She couldn’t tell anyone she worked in a laboratory at the University of California, so she lied about her job:
“I told them I worked in a coal mine.”
But when you come right down to it, it was as good an answer as any.
“We didn’t know what we were doing,” she said.
Turns out that Frederick, now 93 and living in Vancouver, was working on the atomic bomb.
In the 1940s, Frederick was among the untold thousands of people who were part of the Manhattan Project. That was America’s top-secret research effort that led to the atomic bomb, culminating in the devastation of two Japanese cities in August 1945.