The Nuclear Age in Montgomery County: The Atomic Energy Commission and its Site at Germantown


Friday, June 1, 2018
7:00 – 8:00 p. m.
Germantown Library
19840 Century Blvd
Germantown, MD 20874


AEC Germantown’s campus, circa 1958


Join Montgomery History for the fifth and final program in its BOOM Speakers Series as we explore what life was like for persons living in Montgomery County during the 1950s. Eric W. Boyle, Chief Historian for the Department of Energy, will discuss the Atomic Energy Commission’s move to upper Montgomery County during the early days of the Cold War. After considering over 50 locations, farmland near Germantown, Maryland was determined to be a distance far enough from Washington D.C. to survive a nuclear blast from the Soviet Union. Thus, the headquarters for the Atomic Energy Commission was built in Germantown, Maryland in 1957. Today, the site is one of two administrative complexes of the US Department of Energy. In this talk, Boyle will share archival research and new insight on the detailed criteria used to determine the headquarters’ location.


Speaker Bio: Eric W. Boyle became the Chief Historian for the Department of Energy in March 2016. Boyle earned his Ph.D. in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine from the University of California Santa Barbara in 2007. Before joining the Department of Energy, he served as the Chief Archivist at the National Museum of Health and Medicine in Silver Spring, Maryland. He is also a lecturer for University of Maryland’s School of Public Health.


While there is no cost for this event, space is limitedRSVPs are required.




This dynamic, free lecture is offered in collaboration with Montgomery County Public Libraries. To request sign language interpretation or other deaf/hard of hearing services for library sponsored programs, email


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