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Memories gathers oral histories of the Cold War in the heartland. These firsthand accounts help capture the diversity of local residents’ experiences during the conflict, with points of agreement and disagreement over the Cold War’s nature and significance.

The Downwinders

At the height of the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union conducted hundreds of tests of nuclear weapons; many took place on US soil. One woman, Carolyn Richards, who grew up near the test sites in Utah and Nevada, shares her memories of this time.

Nuclear test

Four Heartlanders Recall the Cold War

It seems natural that daily heartland life was dominated by the Cold War, a time when the United States and its values seemed to be under existential threat. However, interviews conducted with four “heartlanders” challenge such an assumption.

Fort Riley Water Tower

From Soviet Moscow to Topeka, Kansas

While Dr. Irina Six has resided in the Midwest for the past twenty years, she was born and raised in Soviet Moscow in 1960

Dr Irina Six Childhood