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Oak Ridge Historian: D. Ray Smith

The Housing Hour August 10, 2016



Oak Ridge Historian: D. Ray Smith

Portrait of Ray Smith

Historian, author, columnist, photographer, D. Ray Smith has many talents, but one The Housing Hour can add:

Great Story Teller!

Join The Housing Hour this week with special guest- D. Ray Smith and listen to the wonderful story of Oak Ridge, Tn.

Topics Include:

Pre-Oak Ridge History

The Mysterious John Hendrix Story- “Prophet of Oak Ridge”

The Making of Oak Ridge

Manhattan Project National Historical Park
Once a “Secret City,” Oak Ridge, TN is one of the three Manhattan Project sites which are part of the new Manhattan Project National Historical Park. As the site of the pilot X-10 graphite reactor and uranium enrichment plants, Oak Ridge was transformed from a sparsely populated farming area to sprawling industrial complex with 75,000 inhabitants in just three years during World War II. The guidebook explains the key role that Oak Ridge played in the Manhattan Project, and highlights the sites tourists may be able to visit as part of the new park, such as the X-10 Graphite Reactor and the Calutrons at the Y-12 Plant


Oak Ridge Historian: D. Ray Smith

With over 45 years of experience at the Y-12 National Security Complex and the last 10 years as the official Historian, Ray has specialized in both Y-12 and Oak Ridge history. In addition, he is an author, having published 20 books, six photo books and one audio book. He is a newspaper columnist producing the popular Historically Speaking weekly column in The Oak Ridger and finally, he is an avid photographer with a 40 image show currently at the Oak Ridge Public Library.

Ray has produced several Y-12 History short films including the multiple award- winning Our Hidden Past series. He was a co-producer for the Secret City: The War Years and Secret City: 1945 – 2006 award-winning documentary film series. He has appeared in the History Channel’s Lost Worlds series, The Lost City of the
A-Bomb and on a segment of the Travel Channel’s Mysteries at the Museum as well as Knoxville and Nashville television short stories, Truth or Tall Tales and Postcards from Tennessee.

He recently completed a major documentary film project, a four episode television series of 30-minute programs on the history of Y-12, A Nuclear Family. This film series has won four platinum Remi awards in the World Fest-Houston International Film Festival.

He is a frequent speaker on Oak Ridge history across the nation ranging from the National Archives at Atlanta’s Secret City in the Tennessee Hills: From Dogpatch to Nuclear Power, to Los Alamos National Laboratory’s 70th Anniversary Speaker’s Series, to Rugby, TN’s Appalachian Writers’ Series and Richland, WA, public library special forum on Oak Ridge History, and the National Day of Remembrance honoring nuclear weapons workers at the National Atomic Testing Museum in Las Vegas, NV.

Ray has received numerous awards including a first ever double award by the East Tennessee Historical Society – Professional Achievement and Community History Awards, the Bill Wilcox Bow Tie Award for his work supporting Aid for Distressed Families in Appalachian Counties, and the East Tennessee Economic Council’s Muddy Boot Award for sustained positive community impact.

With the passage of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park legislation on December 19, 2014, Ray was named the Consolidated Nuclear Security’s lead for implementing the national park at the Y-12 National Security Complex. Working in a team led by Colin Colverson of DOE Oak Ridge Operations Chief Council’s office, Ray has provided tours, support information and interfaced with the joint Department of Energy and Department of Interior National Park Service’s implementation team.


Read Ray’s Newpaper column archive:

Historically Speaking

View Ray’s Photography Talent:


Ray’s Books:

ray book

Also Check out Pre-Oak Ridge History by Co-host Mark Griffith:

(Free Download)

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