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Harry K. Daghlian, Jr.
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Scientist
    (1921-September 15, 1945)
    Born in Waterbury, Connecticut
    Armenian-American physicist
    Studied at MIT and earned as B.S. in Physics at Purdue University (1942)
    Member of the Manhattan Project at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico
    Accidentally irradiated himself during a critical mass experiment (August 21, 1945)
    Died 26 days later from acute radiation poisoning at age 24
    Became the first peacetime atom bomb fatality in the U.S.
    His accident occurred six days after Japan surrendered to the U.S. in World War II so no more atomic bombs would fall.
    His work helped create the atomic bomb.
    He performed a hazardous experiment alone after-hours against 'official' safety regulations.
    Simply put, the accident occurred because his hand slipped and he let go of something he shouldn't have.
    A security guard seated 12 feet away was mildly irradiated which may have contributed to his leukemia death at age 62 (1978).
    Because his work was super secret, the cause of death was listed as 'chemical burns.'
    He played violin in the school orchestra and graduated first in his class in mathematics.
    He was a physics instructor before the Manhattan Project folks came calling.
    Enrico Fermi's wife was secretary at the Los Alamos hospital where he lay dying and was sickened by photos of his deteriorating condition.
    He died a painful death filled with vomiting, diarrhea, dramatic weight loss, erythema, fluid retention and layers of necrotic skin falling off him.
    Co-worker and friend Louis Slotin visited him every day at the hospital, not realizing he would be dead less than a year later from similar circumstances.
    New London, Connecticut, the town where he grew up, honored him with a memorial ceremony and stone 55 years after his death (May 20, 2000).
    His brother and sister attended, as well as six former high school classmates who remembered him as gentle, caring and kind - giving his time generously and helping with school subjects.

Credit: Scar Tactics


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