Cold War History in South Dakota

Minuteman II MissileI was reading an article today that made reference to the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site in South Dakota. It was created by congress in 1999, and I must admit, I really didn't know very much about this place until today. I've spent part of the day reading about it, and am now convinced that I have to see it sometime. A visit to the facility requires a reservation to be included in a daily tour. As described on the park website: "a ranger leads visitors through the above and below ground structures at Delta-01 and then to Delta-09, the missile silo and ICBM." This sounds like an incredible opportunity to learn about the usually super secret world of defense as operated during the cold war. I'm reminded of movies like "War Games" and the arms race with the Soviets as I read about these hidden silo's buried in America's heartland.

If you happen to be driving through South Dakota on your way to Badlands, Wind Cave, Mount Rushmore, or Devil's Tower in eastern Wyoming, you might want to check out this monument to missile history on I-90 (the tour starts at mile post 131 apparently). You may need to refer to a map, I can't imagine that there are many above-ground landmarks for this site, as the missile silos were all constructed deep underground.

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