More visiting hours are now available at the new Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile State Historic Site near Cooperstown. Through May 15, tours will be offered Mondays and Thursdays-Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sundays from 1-5 p.m.
The state historic site actually consists of two sites – the Oscar-Zero Missile Alert Facility and the nearby November-33 Launch Facility - the names are the military designation names of these facilities.
The Minuteman Missile Site was operational until 1997, when it was deactivated by the U.S. Air Force as a condition of the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction (START) Treaty. To learn more about the interesting history of the Cold War and this site, visit the State Historical Society of North Dakota.
Visitors to Oscar-Zero are given a guided tour of topside facilities and will learn how the facility managers, security forces, maintenance teams, and cooks lived their daily lives at the MAF. Guests may also choose to be guided down the elevator shaft to the underground Launch Control Equipment Building and Launch Control Center, where they will see first-hand the front lines of the United States’ strategy of nuclear deterrence. They will be able to step behind the concrete blast door and witness the environment that was experienced by the missile crews.
At November-33 visitors will see the topside of a launch facility, including the massive launch closure door which once protected a missile, an imposing security fence, the electronic security system, and the ventilation systems that served the underground equipment buildings. The topside appears exactly as it did during its existence as an active launch facility before it was closed in 1997.
Cold War Film Contest
Between now and August 15, independent filmmakers can apply to use the historic, underground missile alert facility as a background for independently-produced short-length films. Information and contest details can be found at: www.coldwarfilmcontest.com.