Magazine article Sea Classics

Cold War Missile Museum

Magazine article Sea Classics

Cold War Missile Museum

Article excerpt

The Cold War is now a part of the history of this nation's determination to defend this country and its people. Now, in South Dakota, visitors can learn how the United States answered the threat of missiles from afar and the weapons system that was developed.

This can now be seen at the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site in Philip, South Dakota. One of the nation's newest national park areas, it was created to illustrate the history and significance of the Cold War, the arms race, and intercontinental ballistic missile development.

It was President Eisenhower's January 1961 declaration that stated, "Our arms must be mighty, ready for instant action, so that no potential aggressor may be tempted to risk his own destruction."

According to information provided by the National Parks Service, the United States Air Force began constructing, in 1961,1000 Minutemen ICBM missile sites in America's heartland. They were dispersed in underground silos throughout the central United States. The missiles were inconspicuous silent sentinels.

For almost 30-years, Minutemen missiles served as an integral component of America's nuclear triad of land-based ICBMs, submarine-launched missiles and manned bombers. Although never launched against an enemy target, there is no disputing the fact that the the ICBM weapons system brought an end to the Cold War by 1989.

South Dakota Senators Tom Daschle and Tim Johnson began working on the establishment of the Minuteman Missile National Site back in 1998. …

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