A decade after the Atomic Energy Commission was created the federal government considered fifty different locations for the Atomic Energy Commission’s headquarters during the Cold War. The government decided to build the headquarters 20 miles north of DC in Germantown, Maryland in an area that 4,000 feet higher than the Nation’s Capitol. All of the offices of the commission’s staff were set on the norther side of the building so that if an atomic bomb went off in DC, only the southern side of the building would be damaged by the shock waves from the blast, leaving the northern side with minimal damage.
The Atomic Energy Commission was responsible for several nuclear weapon advances during the course of the Cold War.
In the 1960’s, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy visited the Atomic Energy Commission’s headquarters building.
The area of Germantown, Maryland was one settled by Native Americans in the area of “Black Rock” off of Black Rock Road thousands of years ago. In the 1600s, European settlers saw Piscataway Indians living within proximity of Rock Creek. The first settlers in what is now known as Germantown were the three Walters brothers, Basil, William and Zachariah. In the 1790s, the Walters brothers inherited the land from their father William Walters, a man who owned a significant portion of land in Montgomery County in addition to a large estate in Brookeville. Some European settlers built stores off of present day Route 355, within the towns of Clarksburg and Middlebrook Mills, that serviced the Walter brothers and others.
Germantown was founded in 1840 as a corridor city under the Montgomery County government’s “Wedges and Corridors Plan”. Germantown is an unincorporated area that is north of the Little Seneca Creek and Lake, on the south by Great Seneca Creek, on the west Blackrock Road, and on the east of Brink Road, within an area of approximately six square miles.
Many descendants of Germantown are buried by the Presbyterian Church that was built in 1845. In the 1800s, most of the individuals of German descent have lived off of Clopper Road.
During the U.S. Civil War the members of Germantown of German ancestors were against slavery. However, the residents of Germantown with English ancestory, regardless of whether they owned slaves or not, tended to support the Confederacy.
The author Philip Hamilton used to live with his brothers Kevin, Jefferey and John Hamilton and his sisters Linda and Jennifer Hamilton in Germantown, Maryland. Philip’s family had moved from Norman, Oklahoma to Germantown, Maryland after his father Dan Hamilton obtained a job at the NASA Goddard Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.