skip to main content
Oregon State University
Special Collections and Archives
Research Center

Charter Heslep Papers, 1932-1963View associated digital content.

Predominant Dates: 1950-1963
The Charter Heslep Papers are primarily comprised of materials dating from Heslep's time as an employee of the Atomic Energy Commission. The collection includes correspondence, speeches, ephemera, photographs, and sound recordings relating to Charter Heslep's work with the AEC, with emphasis on his efforts to televise U.S. nuclear tests on behalf of the Commission.
ID: MSS Heslep
Extent: 0.75 cubic feet
More Extent Information
Scope and Content Notes
Biographical / Historical Notes
Statement on Access: The collection is open for research.
Arrangement
Preferred Citation: Charter Heslep Papers (MSS Heslep), Oregon State University Libraries Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.
Acquisition Note: Materials were purchased by the Oregon State University Special Collections in 1990 as part of the History of Atomic Energy Collection. The Charter Heslep Papers were separated from the larger collection in 2013 and are now held by the OSU Libraries Special Collections & Archives Research Center.
Languages of Materials
Other

Container List

Series 1: Correspondence, 1950-1957 Add to Shelf
Series I is composed predominantly of letters to and from Charter's wife, Margaret, between 1950 and 1958. Their correspondence includes personal and family news, descriptions of Heslep's work on behalf of the Atomic Energy Commission, and extensive correspondence dating from Heslep's observation of nuclear tests in Nevada (1952 and 1953) and the Marshall Islands (1956). Notably, Heslep provides detailed descriptions of activities surrounding the Tumbler-Snapper Charlie test, the Upshot-Knothole Annie test, and the Redwing Lacrosse and Cherokee tests--the first thermonuclear drop--including setup of broadcast relays, weather reports, the detonations of nuclear devices, and life at Camp Mercury and aboard the USS Mount McKinley. The series also includes several letters to the Heslep children, a telegram regarding a cancelled meeting with Harry S. Truman, correspondence granting clearance for Heslep to attend the Eniwetok-Bikini Atolls tests, and a letter to Captain H. G. Rickover describing plans for Heslep to author a book on nuclear submarines.
Box-Folder 1.1: Family Correspondence, 1950 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.2: Family Correspondence, 1951 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.3: Family Correspondence, 1952 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.4: Family Correspondence, 1953 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.5: Family Correspondence, 1954 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.6: Family Correspondence, 1956 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.7: Family Correspondence, 1957 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.8: Professional Correspondence, 1953-1956 Add to Shelf
Series 2: Speeches, 1950-1963 Add to Shelf
This series is comprised of speeches authored and given by Charter Heslep during his time at the Atomic Energy Commission. Topics include the defensive applications of radio and television, the role of the Atomic Energy Commission, the history of nuclear weapons in the United States, and the role of ghostwriting in the public sphere.
Box-Folder 1.9: "The Atom Business," American Association of University Women, Richmond, VA, 1950 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.10: "Radio's Role in Defense," Tennessee Broadcaster Association Dinner, Nashville, TN, 1950 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.11: "Mobilizing Radio and Television," Cnference on Station Problems, Norman, OK, 1951 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.12: Mimeographed typescript of untitled speech before the NATO Information Program Group II, 1954 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.13: "The AEC Can Talk," American Women in Radio and Television, Kansas City, MO, 1954 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.14: Speech Material on First Experimental Central Station Nuclear Power Project, 1954 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.15: "The Geneva Story," Radio Television News Directors Association, Denver, CO, 1955 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.16: "Some Aspects of the Impact of the Nuclear Age in the United States," United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Paris, 1958 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.17: "Ghosting: A Necessity, Not a Sin," Conference on College Composition and Communication, Washington, D.C., 1961 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.18: "Atoms for Peace: Program or Propaganda?" Springfield College, Springfield, MA, 1963 Add to Shelf
Series 3: Ephemera, 1945-1961 Add to Shelf
Series III is comprised of several items of ephemera collected by Heslep during his career. The series includes programs from nuclear energy-related events and a press kit from Atomos en Accion, an exhibition on nuclear science and technology held in Peru in 1961. The kit includes correspondence, an organizational chart, and promotional materials relating to Heslep's attendance as a representative of the Atomic Energy Commission. The series also contains a report by Charles L. Dunham on a nuclear energy symposium held in Argentina, an account of reporter Paul Harvey breaking into restricted military property, an article on Heslep from the Augusta Herald, articles written by Heslep on the televising of nuclear tests, several certificates of participation from Oak Ridge Laboratories, Operation Teapot, and Operation Redwing, and a news sheet printed on board the USS Mount McKinley.
Box-Folder 1.19: Program from the Atomic Age Dinner of America United for World Organization, Inc., 1945 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.20: Certificates of Participation in Atomic Tests, 1950-1956 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.21: "Paul Harvey Incident" Materials Compiled by Radio Reports, Inc., 1951 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.22: "Charter Heslep in Augusta," The Augusta Herald, 1952 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.23: "They Said It Couldn't Be Done: The Story of the First Live Televising of an Atomic Detonation", 1952 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.24: "It Couldn't Be Done - But T-V Men Did It," The Quill, 1952 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.25: Program from the ground breaking ceremony for the Shippingport Atomic Power Station, 1954 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.26: "B-52 Makes America's First Bomb Drop," Port & Starboard Press, Amateur news sheet printed on board the USS Mount McKinley, 1956 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.27: Program from the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission Annual Honor Awards Ceremony, 1956 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.28: "Chronology of Important Events in the Atoms for Peace Program", 1958 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.29: "Trip Report: Second Inter-American Symposium on the Peaceful Application of Nuclear Energy, Buenos Aires, Argentina," Charles L. Dunham, 1959 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.30: "Atomos en Accion" Press Kit, 1961 Add to Shelf
Series 4: Photographs, 1932-1961 Add to Shelf

Series IV is comprised of both color and black and white photographs relating to Heslep's work as a news reporter and member of the Atomic Energy Commission. The collection contains photographs of nuclear test preparations and explosions including images of Operation Trinity; Operation Tumbler-Snapper's Charlie test; Operation Upshot-Knothole's Annie, Nancy, Ruth, Dixie, Ray, and Grable tests; Operation Plumbbob's Priscilla and Fizeau tests; Operation Greenhouse; and Operation Redwing. The collection also includes photographs of test dummies and buildings, portions of the Nevada Test Site including "News Nob" and Camp Mercury, and photos of work aboard the USS Mount McKinley, an observer ship in the Pacific Proving Grounds during the Redwing tests.

The series also includes photos of Atomic Energy Commission events, meetings of the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Joint Congressional Committee on Atomic Energy, an Oak Ridge National Laboratory conference, Britain's first plutonium factory, Brookhaven National Laboratory, protests surrounding the Rosenberg espionage hearings, and other events and people relating to nuclear science and history. The series also contains numerous career photographs of Heslep in his position at the AEC, the Washington Daily News, and the Mutual Broadcasting Company as well as headshots and studio portraits.

Box-Folder 1.31: Operation Trinity, 1945 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.32: Operation Tumbler-Snapper, 1952 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.33: Operation Upshot-Knothole, 1953 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.34: Operation Plumbbob, 1957 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.35: Nevada Test Site Unidentified Nuclear Tests, undated Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.36: Nevada Test Site, 1952-1953 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.37: Operation Greenhouse, 1951 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.38: Operation Redwing, 1956 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 1.39: Pacific Proving Grounds Unidentified Nuclear Tests, undated Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 2.1: Career Photographs, 1932, 1937 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 2.2: Career Photographs, 1945-1949 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 2.3: Career Photographs, 1950 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 2.4: Career Photographs, 1951 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 2.5: Career Photographs, 1952 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 2.6: Career Photographs, 1953 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 2.7: Career Photographs, 1954 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 2.8: Career Photographs, 1955 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 2.9: Career Photographs, 1956 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 2.10: Career Photographs, 1957 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 2.11: Career Photographs, 1958 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 2.12: Career Photographs, 1959 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 2.13: Career Photographs, 1960 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 2.14: Career Photographs, 1961 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 2.15: Career Photographs, undated Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 2.16: Headshots and Studio Portraits of Charter Heslep, 1932, 1952-1959 Add to Shelf
Series 5: Sound Recordings, 1958-1961 Add to Shelf
This series is composed of two sound recordings, "Peaceful Use of the Atom" and "Atoms for Peace: 1946-1961".
Box-Folder 2.17: "Peaceful Use of the Atom" Reel 1, January 16, 1958 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 2.18: "Peaceful Use of the Atom" Reel 2, January 16, 1958 Add to Shelf
Box-Folder 2.19: "Atoms for Peace: 1946-1961", February 8, 1961 Add to Shelf