b'P ROVING THE P RINCIPLEAt Pocatello, the obvious attractions, The party plan worked, or at least it did was trying to raise enough Ned to getaside from its size, were the facilities of not fail. On May 18, 1949, after cir- the testing site relocated to Ft. Peck,the Naval Ordnance Plant and the col- cumspect deliberations, Johnston c o u l dnt see that. Montanas governor lege. The Pocatello leadership, however, announced that the field office would had even telephoned Robins to ask himwas reluctant to make any guarantees locate in Idaho Falls, leasing office what Idahos angle had been. Then heabout housing or expanding urban space at the Rogers Hotel downtown.refused to believe Robinsdenial thatinfrastructure for the rapid population A new road to the site would improve there had been any angle at all. 18 growth sure to come. And, it was said, travel time, and construction workersPocatello parties tended to exclude could live conveniently at Arco and With no evidence to the contrary, thewomen and were, as a result, rather Blackfoot. Rail connections would be AEC had every reason to believe that itstiff affairs. 16 handled from Pocatello. 17 could continue its tradition of indepen-dent operations in Idaho. No oppositionThe AEC must have noticed a missing The craftsmanlike execution of a clever appeared anywhere. The governmentsairport in Blackfoot, a too-small hospital strategy in Idaho Falls contrasted habit of secrecy in atomic matters hadunder construction, and too few business sharply with the serene, perhaps passive, originated during a patriotic war. Withservices in the little town. A rc o s whole- attitude at Idahos Statehouse. Chairman the growing threat of a communist hearted commitment and desire, with its Lilienthal also had been one of Robins enemy, secrecy would have to continue.rational approach to sound planning, mid-April visitors. Writing of the Johnston told one of the Rotary clubs incould not overcome its small encounter in his journal, Lilienthal said August that employees must at allsize, even with the states Robins impressed him as a relaxed, times be checked and double-checkedpledge to finance a small easy-going kind of man. The governor on our loyalty standing. Citizensairport. From Pocatello, had refused to send Idaho promoters to seemed content to accept details aboutthe AEC could not detect Washington to pressure the AEC. He the testing station whenever Johnstonthe commitments it d i dn t believe the AEC would decide felt free to provide them. 19would need. anything on the basis of politics, and hewas baffled as to why the Scientists had produced the awesomeMontana delegation, bombs that ended the war, and theywhich at that enjoyed an image as being far above them o me ndaily play of political persuasionattleast in southeast Idaho. Bill Johnstonsconduct did nothing to dispel that notion.People instinctively trusted him as soonas they met him. He didnt fit the stereo-type of an engineer with a single-facetedp e r son a l i ty . He was stylish in dress even the frames around his eyeglasseswere au courant. He and his equallypopular wife Helene enjoyed entertainingIdaho Falls associates and the manypolitical and industrial visitors who camethrough the city. His friendly and candidThis logo appeared on the cover of the Idaho FallsChamber of Commerces 1949 Annual Report.3 4'