This section explores the Cold War’s impact on the environmental and cultural landscape of the heartland through a series of fascinating case studies. The case studies reveal that many important Cold War landmarks today are effectively hidden in plain sight.
The Heartland of Nuclear Deterrence
Topeka Regional Airport has gone by many names over the years.
The Atomic Lab Next Door
The Nuclear Age in America was not limited to nuclear bomb tests in the deserts of the Southwest or the Pacific Ocean, or to missile silo complexes hidden away in the plains. For some Americans, the Nuclear Age unfolded right next door, even if its details were hidden from sight.
The Past and Present of Rural Missile Sites
Throughout the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union sought to outpace each other in the development of weaponry and nuclear power was at the center of this arms race. In particular, each nation developed inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) meant to strike at the heart of the other country, targeting military installations as well as cities, which made them particularly frightening.