Michon Mackedon


Michon Mackedon is a native daughter of the Silver State, born in Reno and raised in Fallon, Nevada, where she has lived much of her life. She received a B.A. in history from the University of Nevada, Reno, and an M.A. in teaching English from the same institution. She taught English and humanities at Western Nevada College from 1981 until her retirement in 2007. In 2010, her award-winning book, Bombast: Spinning Atoms in the Desert, was published.

In addition, Michon has accumulated a record of public service throughout the state. She was appointed to the Nevada Commission on Nuclear Projects in 1985 and has served almost continuously as Vice-Chair of that body. She has also served on and chaired the board of Nevada Humanities. Michon is married to Fallon City Attorney Michael Mackedon. They have four children and five grandchildren.



Atomic testing began in Nevada in 1951, and in a presentation that incorporates original source material and visuals, Michon Mackedon’s focus is on three key questions which that bare fact inspires.

First of all, why Nevada? How did the geography (“a wasteland”) and the demographics of this particular state lead to its selection as an atomic proving ground, and to a broad public perception of Nevada as a “safe and suitable site” for nuclear projects? Secondly, what were the key features, the shifting goals, and the critical stages of nuclear propaganda – the “spin”, in other words - that were implemented in the Silver State? And finally, what are the political, environmental and cultural consequences of the state’s atomic legacy, both in Nevada and further afield, today?

Note: audience interaction and debate are encouraged.

Appropriate Audience: Adults; can be tailored to high- and middle-school students.

Duration: C. 1 hour

Presenter Requirements:

  • Means for screening digital presentation, preferably on host computer

If equipment indicated above is unavailable, please discuss alternatives with Presenter.

Categories: Nevada, history, environment