The International Biscuit Festival made its way to Knoxville this week, wrapping up on Saturday.More >>
It's one of the most delicious times of year once again, as downtown Knoxville is transformed into a biscuit-lovers paradise. The International Biscuit Festival made its way back to town this week, wrapping up on Saturday.More >>
OAK RIDGE (WATE) - It may be known as The Secret City, but now it's easier than ever for tourists to get an inside look at the history of Oak Ridge.
Home to the famed Manhattan Project and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, more than 400,000 people visit the city annually.
Thanks to a new tour guide booklet, they can hit the most history-rich spots all in one trip.
Driving through Oak Ridge, it's hard to believe the city didn't exist until 1942 when the United States Army created it for a top-secret project.
"They put 60,000 acres behind a fence and basically said, 'We're not telling anyone what we're doing'," said Katy Brown, president of the Oak Ridge Convention and Visitors Bureau.
The mystery began when the government brought in 75,000 Americans to start working.
"Many of these people left their families and homes to come here to work on a project that they had no idea what they were doing," said Brown.
Behind those fences, Americans were creating the world's first atomic bomb, which would eventually end World War II.
Now, thousands of people head to Oak Ridge every year to see the place that altered history.
They're getting help on their journey with the new Oak Ridge Heritage Tour book, put together by the Oak Ridge Convention and Visitors Bureau.
"We wanna honor those who sacrificed so much during the war and we wanna be able to tell that story to visitors," said Brown.
The book has a detailed driving tour of historic spots like the International Friendship Bell, the Commemorative Walk and the American Museum of Science and Energy, which has replicas of housing that workers lived in when building the atomic bomb.
The booklets are just $4 and you can buy them at the Oak Ridge Convention and Visitors Bureau during the week.
For more information, call the Bureau at 800-887-3429 or visit the visitor's bureau website.