Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Minuteman Missile Site, South Dakota

We have seen a lot on the old west, Oregon Trail, Lewis and Clark, but very little on more current events. So, I was very excited when I found a Minuteman National Historic Site.

During the Cold War with Russia, the U.S. began to stockpile nuclear weapons. The U.S. built missile launch sites all over the country. This particular one, in South Dakota, housed the Minuteman One and Two Missile. Minuteman Two Missile had the equivalent of 100 million tons of dynamite. Because it had solid fuel, it could be deployed by crews miles away. It could travel over the North Pole to a target on the other side of the world and destroy it in a total of 30 minutes or less.

We went to the visitors center where we got to talk to two extremely knowledgeable Rangers. One Ranger had actually worked at the missile site. He was great! We didn't make it to the actual launch site. You had to go at specific times or by appt. It just didn't work out for us. The kids did a Junior Ranger program there. I printed it up from the internet before we went and they had them done by the time we got there.

There are still 500 nuclear missiles ready to be deployed from locations across the northwest.

We found this an extremely interesting stop and encourage everyone to check it out. If you love history, this will be a great place! It is located on Hwy 240 in Phillip, SD. 70 miles east of Rapid City. We went there right before the Badlands.

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