July 16 ~ Honor Atomic Veterans!
of United States Veterans
1946 to 1980
Later when trying to search for details, knowing the year he was there, he was able to figure out which test so he could discover which bomb was detonated. Refining the date was easy: it was July 4, 1957 when the family left California. He remembered how he was upset about missing the cousin's fireworks, so that set in his mind the date that they left. His uncle and his mom wanted to get back home. The timing of the trip was so that they would be driving through the desert at the night so the desert heat wouldn't be so bad. In the days of no air conditioning this was a common decision. After the bright light lit up their surroundings, Uncle tuned into a local radio station just in time to hear that the Nevada Test Site had again set off one of their "experimental devices." This was now July 5, 1957 and it was the detonation of Shot Hood. Follow the links to see the photo of the blast. Keith saw the light of a different type of fireworks that would stay with him the rest of his life.
April 1996 ~~ Whittle's story was the first personal atomic history web site posted on the Internet in HTML. His story is told: Anno Atomi 11, Growing Up With The Atom. After Whittle posted his story, he became interested in the idea of posting a veteran's story in a web site. About five years before, we had attended a lecture in downtown Portland at a lecture hosted by the Oregon Physicians for Social Responsiblity where a veteran, Bill Bires, told his story to attendees. Keith was interested in the history even then, but we didn't have a way to tell the story. I had saved his name in my notes from that night. I guess it is my journalism training that makes me take notes. It worked out good for us this time. Whittle contacted Bires and soon we were building another atomic history web site: The Atomic Duty of Pvt. Bill Bires.