In the 1930s and early 1940s, Richland had a population of around 1,000; Kennewick's population was probably around 2,000; Pasco's population, a division point on the Northern Pacific Railroad, was between 4,000 and 5,000. There were two other small towns up the Columbia River from Richland -- Hanford and White Bluffs. They were small agricultural communities of about 400 or 500 people. In 1943 the Army Corps of Engineers came in and took 600 square miles of land to establish a top-secret facility to make the material for an atom bomb. They established a construction camp at the town site of Hanford that held 44,000 people --the fourth-largest city in the state of Washington at that time. Hanford Camp only lasted about three years, but look around today at Richland, Kennewick and Pasco -- around 250,000 people. I would say the Manhattan District was directly responsible for the phenomenal growth we have seen in this area.
-- STEVE BUCKINGHAM, Kennewick