New documents obtained by the National Security Archive reveal that the US government considered establishing a nuclear weapons storage site in Iceland during the 1950s. The really interesting part? The United States wasn’t going to tell Iceland.
On May 23rd, 1967, the United States Air Force scrambled to ready nuclear missile-laden aircraft for deployment. Radar systems designed to detect incoming Soviet missiles had just been disrupted, in what the military perceived to be an act of war. But before any nukes were launched in retaliation, it seems Air Force…
During the Cold War, the US Army studied the feasibility of launching ballistic missiles from within Greenland’s ice sheet. When the project was done, engineers buried biological, chemical, and radioactive waste in the ice thinking it would be preserved for eternity. Shame they didn’t know about global warming.
“I don’t mind being called a propagandist,” Edward R. Murrow told a reporter at the Miami Herald in April of 1962. “So long as that propaganda is based on the truth.”
Earlier this week, we heard alarming reports of a “significant” nuclear waste leak at Hanford, the largest radioactive waste dumpsite in the country. Should we be worried? Absolutely. But mainly because this is a symptom of a much bigger problem that’s been festering for decades.
It’s no secret that the US government wanted to kill Fidel Castro many times over the years. But there’s a crazy story about a possible CIA assassination attempt that I’d never heard before: Giving Castro a diving suit that would be contaminated with tuberculosis.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced today that the Doomsday Clock, which represents our proximity to an apocalyptic event, will remain at three minutes to midnight. But that’s still terrifying.
In 1961 an eight-year-old girl from Marine City, Michigan wrote to President Kennedy. She wanted to know if the Russians were going to bomb the North Pole. JFK responded with the letter below, assuring her that Santa would be just fine.
Two spacecraft drifted closer to one another far above planet Earth, as they prepared to dock. It was July 17th, 1975, and they were about to make history. For the first time, a United States Apollo and Soviet Union Soyuz spacecraft would dock with one another, an enormously symbolic mission that served as a small…
On January 12, 1958, an important weapon of the Cold War was introduced. It wasn’t a missile or a spy satellite, but rather a colorful Sunday comic strip that showed Americans what the future was going to look like. It was called Closer Than We Think.
In July 1959, the magazine Look ran an article describing the “miracle kitchen” of the future, ostensibly about the amazing advances that Americans would see in their own homes. In reality, it was part of a much larger propaganda battle of the Cold War–and it involved a proto-roomba.
In 1984, 24-year-old Petra Pazsitka was living in Braunschweig, Germany, studying computer science—until the day she was reported as missing after failing to return from the dentist. At one point, the main suspect in an unrelated rape and murder confessed to killing her, but later recanted.
Chernobyl is obviously well-known for one particular thing, but as it turns out, the town is hiding things other than two-headed squirrels.
At the height of the Cold War, the United States and Soviet Union had thousands of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles trained on one another. In this video, we get a tour of a Titan missile silo, and learn exactly what would happen when the order came down to launch an attack.
The physicists who invented the nuclear bomb worked out of Los Alamos in New Mexico, but the people who did the dirty work of making the bombs were in Hanford, Washington. Throughout the Cold War, Hanford churned out plutonium for our nuclear arsenal. It was also, conveniently, a place to experiment with radiation.
Buckminster Fuller was a world-renowned architect, math-obsessed designer, and affable weirdo. He died in 1983, but Fuller is still remembered fondly today for his geodesic domes and his three-wheeled cars. Despite extensive historical interest in the man, his FBI file has never been made public. Until now.
Since 1987, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has been counting up each country's nuclear arsenal in its Nuclear Notebook, peeling back the veil of secrecy that often surrounds these numbers. The Bulletin has now gone and made its Nuclear Notebook into a neat interactive graphic.
Americans were obsessed with spy culture during the Cold War. I mean, who didn't love James Bond? Communists, that's who. The gosh darn Communits. Spying seeped into every aspect of pop culture in the 1960s and 70s—from TV and movies to comic books and even board games.
During the Cold War, Hungary was one of the westernmost allies of the Soviet Union. As a member of the Warsaw Pact, Hungary had to station a significant number of Soviet troops and military equipment on its territory. Now we've gone inside one of their most classified bases, and taken pictures.