1953 December 23

AEC Suspends J. Robert Oppenheimer’s Security Clearance


A brilliant nuclear physicist, Robert Oppenheimer is often referred to as the “father of the atomic bomb” because of his role in the Manhattan Project, which developed the first American atomic bombs. The Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) suspended his security clearance on this day because of his alleged left-wing political associations. The evidence against him was highly ambiguous, and there were never any allegations of spying. His case became one of the great controversies during the Cold War. Loss of his security clearance effectively ended his work on any sensitive defense department work. Oppenheimer lost his appeal on May 27, 1954, and he spent the remainder of his career at Princeton University.

Read about Oppenheimer: David C. Cassidy, J. Robert Oppenheimer and the American Century (2005)

Watch the film: The Trials of J. Robert Oppenheimer (2009)

Watch Oppenheimer on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=486MZC8596g

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