World’s First Self-Sustaining Nuclear Chain Reaction Produced

December 2, 1942
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The 34-cent Fermi stamp was issued September 29, 2001, the centennial of his birth.

Virtual Exhibit

On December 2, 1942, the Manhattan Project’s team of scientists produced the world’s first self-sustaining nuclear chain reaction at the University of Chicago. To commemorate this important accomplishment, the Smithsonian National Postal Museum has created this mini-exhibit highlighting different objects with connections to this event.

Created by Adam M. Rosenfeld and Alexander T. Haimann, National Postal Museum