tv American Artifacts CSPAN November 5, 2016 10:00am-10:16am EDT
>> a realist would not have devoted his life to fighting slavery. a would not have said that dissolution of the union for the cause of slavery would be followed by a war by separate portions of the union. the result would be the extrication of slavery from the continent. that progress must be so glorious to be the final issue that god to judge me i dare to say it is not to be desired. historicalew york society, the author of "john quincy adams: militant spirit" and a historian and columnist debate the question, was john quincy adams a realist? talk about the foreign cause review and legacy of the sixth president. for our complete american history tv schedule go to c-span.org.
this weekend, the c-span cities tour is visiting tucson looking at the city's history. we are headed to a former nuclear missile site, located 25-miles south of town. it was shut down in the late 1980's near the end of the cold war. today, it is home to the titan missile museum. we will learn about cold war era history. yvonne: the titan ii's mission was peace through deterrent. our job was to project a credible threat.
to be here every day demonstrating to the soviet union that even if they launched a surprise first strike against us, we would be able to ride that out and retaliate quickly with enough force to devastate the soviet union, even if they launched their missiles first. we are at the titan missile museum 25 miles south of downtown tucson. we are in the launch control center of the missile site. the nerve center of the missile site itself. from here, using the equipment, the crew has a birds eye view of the condition of the missile and the missile site. it is also from here that the crew would launch the missile if they were ordered to do so. so, in order to launch a titan
ii missile, the crew needs a number of things. first, they have to receive a launch order that will tell them to execute their missile and what time they will do that. in order for them to do that, they will need 2 keys. one launch key for the crew commander, and one launch key for that deputy crew commander. launch keys were secured in the emergency war order safe. the safe is secured by 2 combination padlocks. each belongs to a specific officer on the crew. this is the crew commander's block, this is the deputy crew commander's law. even the officer who owns the lock knows the combination.
resete received the lock, the combination. that combination is classified top secret because it is guarding top-secret equipment. officers after they received the order, they come to s,e safe, remove their lock retrieve their launch keys, the crew commander's launch key is inserted here in the crew commander's console. the deputy crew commander's launch key is inserted here. the placement of the keys is intentional and serves it in wharton professor. it guarantees -- and it serves purposetant p or they have to work together
to launch the missile. both keys have to be turned and held in the on position for five seconds. they have to be turned at the same moment in time. .he switches are spring-loaded if you let go of the key switch it automatically falls back to the off position. the keys are too far apart for one person to be able to turn both keys. this means that both officers hat theyagree t will launch their missile. then they have to cooperate to do that. once they turn the keys it takes toseconds from key turn launch.it will launch from the underground rate was sitting with the propellant on board. it will take 30 minutes to reach its target. when it reaches its target, that target will cease to exist.
this small elevator is what the crew and maintenance teams would use to access the other levels. another 100 feet underground and end up on level 7, where we can walk into the launch dock and stand under the missile. the launchentering dock on level 7. we need to watch our head as we go in. we will be standing directly underneath the missle. when the missile was operational , a stage one mission would have been mounted here. the thrust chambers, it had 2,
would have been extending below the cutouts. spot, look to the left you will see a large water spray nozzle. there is a ring of them that encircles the launch dock. when the launch sequence is pumping 160 start ond ofs, roughly, a sec water into the concrete at the bottom of the launch dock so that when the heat interacts wi th the water it will create steam. the steam works together with the sound continuation panels on this mesh that lines the walls.
they worked together to dampen and absorb enough of the noise and vibration created by the engine when it fires so the missile will be able to watch fromhere -- to launch here. if we didn't do that the stage one engines, which generate 400 31 pounds of thrust, like having 2 747s in the launch zone, if we do not do anything to absorb the noise and vibration, it will vibrate the missile to pieces. and neverplode launch. that was one of the huge challenges that the engineers overcame that enabled the titan launch from within the launch site.
is level 2 of the 35-feedck, where we are underground. there is another 125 feet of lau nch dock beneath us. we are looking at the upper section of the stage 2 of the titan ii intercontinental ballistic missile. topbrown nose cone at the is the reentry vehicle. the reentry vehicle is what carried the warhead on the titan ii. it is the only part of the missile that is actually going to reach its target. 9e yield of the titan ii was megatons. that is the explosive equivalent of 9 million tons of tnt.
that is enough destructive areaility to decimate an of 900 square miles. drop there to equivalent of a titan ii on the city of tucson, the city of tucson would cease to exist. there were 54 titan ii missiles altogether. 18 of them were around tucson, arizona. around 18 were based wichita, kansas. were aroundt of 18 little rock, arkansas. the part of the nuclear triad that the united states was using during the cold war. 1000 are also another minuteman intercontinental ballistic missiles on alert at
the same time as the titan ii. -- the same time the titan ii was operational. when the air force opened the women,i career field to it had previously been close to women because it is a combat position, and when the air force transitioned to the all volunteer force, they realized they were not going to be able to man all of the titan ii sites. they weren't going to have enough people. the decision was made to open the career field to women. i was in college at the university of virginia at the time in reserve officer training, rotc. i was recruited for this in the very early days of the career field being open to women. i was a crew commander. i commanded a 4 person titan ii
missile combat crew at the site when it was operational. i was stationed here from 1980-1984. when i came back after they opened it up as a museum, it was 1998. the museum had been opened for 12 years. the site had been off alert since 1982. toappened to come back tucson to live after i got out of the air force. an uncle visited me and really wanted to come here. i remember when we came through the access portal into the entrapment area with the tour group the smell of the missile site was the same. it hit me with an impact i had not expected. there is something to be said for the fact that your sense of smell can trigger intense
memories. i think that was true. looking back now, with the benefit of hindsight, i think i probably started my adult career , the very first job i ever had as adult, the most important job i will ever have in my career. i started my career at the apex. everything that came after that below.east one level i will never have as much responsibility in my lifetime again as i had when i was a crew commander here. twofold mission. the first mission is to preserve and interpret the national historical landmark site and provide stewardship for the historic site.
the second part of the mission is to provide a framework for the public. the discussion that the public is having about the future of nuclear weapons in the world. now,eneration coming up the young people in their 20's and 30's, they are the people that will have to confront what the future of nuclear weapons is going to be around the world. that just by do reading about it. people really have no concept about nuclear weapons and how they work, how expensive they are to maintain, the destructive capabilities they have. what we do here is provide a framework for people to think about those kinds of questions.
to get those kinds of answers so they can make their own decisions about how they want to influence the future of nuclear weapons in the world. as a national historic landmark site this anility is performing important role now as it did during the cold war when it was part of the frontline defense. this weekend we are featuring the history of tucson, arizona. together with our cox communication cable partners. learn about tucson and other /citiestour.pan.org you are watching american history