We conclude North Dakota week at Shopfloor — it just happened! — with a tribute to the state’s newest attraction, The Ronald Reagan Minuteman Missile State Historic Site near Cooperstown. (Map.)
The Grand Forks Missile Field had been dismantled, but for decades North Dakota (and Montana and South Dakota) were key contributors to the nation’s defense. Still are, only with fewer missiles due to arms treaties.
The new state historic site opened to the public July 13 and it consists of two sites – the Oscar-Zero Missile Alert Facilty and the nearby November-33 Launch Facility. Among the 2,000 visitors to the site in its first month have been several former missileers at this and similar missile sites around the world. This has included at least one Cold War veteran from Russia.
Unlike many of the state’s historic sites, which interpret history from as far back as thousands of years, this site tells a fairly recent story. One of 15 missile launch control facilities in eastern North Dakota, it was closed in 1997 because of the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.
Photo courtesy Gerald Newborg, State Historical Society of North Dakota
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