Oak Ridge, Tennessee (JFK+50) The Knoxville News-Sentinel reported today that James Edward "Ed" Westcott*, the Atomic City's only authorized photographer, has been nominated to receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Mr. Westcott "created the only photographic record of the city of Oak Ridge and the Manhattan Project." One of his photographs shows the shift change at the Y12 plant (see below) while another the celebration in Jackson Square following news of Japan's surrender and the end of World War II.
On February 24, 1959, Ed Westcott took a photograph of Senator John F. Kennedy during his visit to the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (see below).
Ray Smith, Oak Ridge historian, says...
"(Ed) didn't just document the science, but also the livelihood of the people, the excitement going on in this pioneering town. He made it come alive in his photographs."
*James Edward "Ed" Westcott was born in Chattanooga & grew up in Nashville. JEW joined the Army Corps of Engineers in 1941. He photographed airstrip construction along with dams & camps. Once assigned to Oak Ridge, he was the only one allowed to have a camera in the Secret City.
JEW took 15,000 pictures of Oak Ridge. After WWII, Ed was official photographer for the Atomic Energy Commission.
"Oak Ridge photographer nominee for Presidential Medal of Freedom", by Brittany Crocker, Knoxville News-Sentinel, June 2, 2018.
Y12 Shift Change
Senator John F. Kennedy