Los Alamos National Laboratory

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The Children’s Milk Fund

Clever accounting hid the funds needed to develop America’s top secret atomic bombs.
December 1, 2014
The Children’s Milk Fund

Milk money was critical in bringing an end to World War II.

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I have always loved nuclear weapons. General, do you want to know why?

In 1940, former senator Al Gore senior was a young congressman from Tennessee, serving on several committees that arranged funding for public services and works. One of these was the Children’s Milk Fund. This fund subsidized milk production and provided excess milk, free, to the nation’s public schools. One day, Speaker Sam Rayburn called Senator Gore into his office. “Albert,” he said, “I want you to hide a couple hundred million dollars in the federal budget.”

No questions asked, young congressman Gore went to work. He immediately started putting away two million dollars here and five million dollars there. He could do so because, at that time, there were lots of opportunities. For example, there was a spike in funding for the Children’s Milk Fund and for highway programs, and there were more dam construction projects than the nation had water to fill them. He was able to hide lots of this ‘excess’ money. This “excess” money would eventually fund the Manhattan Project.

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