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Encore Of S.U. StoryCorps 'Fallout City': A Downwinder Story

Downwinder story, storycorps, michelle thomas

The documentary, The Day After Trinity: J. Robert Oppenheimer and the Atomic Bomb, gives a history of one of the architects of the atomic bomb. The film will be screened in Southern Utah Friday, June 24, 2016. Many Utah residents were exposed to the radiation fallout of testing in Nevada. 

Michelle Thomas represented residents of Saint George during the Vienna Nuclear Convention in 2014. Before that she sat down with her friend Martha Ham during UPR’s Southern Utah StoryCorps project to share her experience as a Downwinder. 

Some of these documents were declassified, and they had St. George circled on these maps of yester-year and called it 'Fallout City,' knowing that this would get heavily radiated.

A downwinder is an individual who was born, in a mother's womb, or outside the womb in 1951-1962.

Michelle Thomas is a downwinder, and she tells the story of the nuclear testing, her mother's fight, and living with the medical repercussions of nuclear weapon testing.

Shalayne Smith Needham has worked at Utah Public Radio since 2000 as producer of Access Utah. She graduated from Utah State University in 1997 with a BA in Sociology, emphasis on Criminology. A Logan native, she grew up with an appreciation for the great outdoors and spends her free time photographing the Western landscape and its wildlife.