Shirley Clark


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This interview was made possible by the generous support of The Spitzer Charitable Trust; PLM Foundation; Silverstein Properties Inc.; The Winter Foundation; and ACC Construction Corporation.

Shirley Clark was born and raised in Chicago. Her father injured his arm badly when she was young, and both she and her sister had to quit school and go to work to support the family. She started working in the mailroom of the Chrysler Corporation, and later she was transferred out to the Lynch Road, Dodge main plant where she worked in the Accounting Department. The day after the Atomic Bomb was dropped, they called all the workers into the factory and announced that, although none of them had known it, the work being done at the plant had been essential to the making of the bomb, and they were all given a round pin that said “Atom”. Shirley was only 17 or 18 at the time and a difficult time coming to grips with the fact she had been part of the creation of such a terrible weapon. She talks about her sympathy for the Japanese people after the bomb, and about how her father helped her come to grips with her role in its creation.