This month in Fermilab history: December

In past Decembers, the laboratory recognized the importance of its future site, the prairie and its buildings.

A student learning about prairie ecosystems at Fermilab.

December 1989: Margaret Pearson Interpretive Trail named
In December 1989, the prairie interpretive trail was named for Margaret Pearson, longtime Manager of the Public Information Office and an original member of the Prairie Committee.

The Feynman Computing Center was dedicated in 1988.

Dec. 2, 1988: Feynman Computing Center dedication
Feynman Computing Center, originally built as the lab’s Central Computing Facility, was dedicated on Dec. 2, 1988. It was named for Richard P. Feynman, a famous theoretical physicist.

This shows an aerial view of Weston, Illinois, in 1968.

Dec. 7, 1966: Weston site selected as lab site
The Atomic Energy Commission received 126 proposals recommending about 200 sites in 46 states for the planned National Accelerator Laboratory before its June 15, 1965, deadline for site proposals. It narrowed the list down to 85 and passed it to the National Academy of Sciences Site Evaluation Committee, which in turn narrowed the list down to seven in March 1966. Illinois had to withdraw its South Barrington site from the competition, leaving Sierra Nevada, California; Denver, Colorado; Ann Arbor, Michigan; Brookhaven, New York; Madison, Wisconsin; and Weston, Illinois. AEC staff visited and evaluated each site before selecting Weston on Dec. 7, 1966. The AEC issued a press release announcing the selection of the site on Dec. 16, 1966.

The Illinois Accelerator Research Center at Fermilab was dedicated in 2011.

Dec. 16, 2011: IARC dedication
Fermilab broke ground on IARC, the Illinois Accelerator Research Center, on Dec. 16, 2011. IARC exists to facilitate partnerships between Fermilab and private industry for the commercial and industrial application of accelerator technology to medicine, energy and the environment, industry, national security, and discovery science.