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tv   American Artifacts Cold War Museum  CSPAN  April 19, 2019 9:48pm-10:44pm EDT

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3. tuesday at 7:00 p.m. eastern on cspan. live coverage from george washington's home mt. vernon. talking about cspan's book, the presidents. with historians doug has brinkley, edna green medford and richard norton smith. and saturday, book tv has i love coverage from the -- has live coverage. noted historians rank america's best and worst chief executives. presidential leadership tuesday at 7:00 p.m. eastern on cspan for mt. vernon. and saturday at 2:30:00 p.m. on cspan 2 from the museum. each week american artifacts visits museums, archives and historic places. up next we travel 45 miles west of nation's capitol to tour a former u.s. army communication
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base in warrenton virginia that now house as museum dedicated to remembering the cold war, this is just under an hour. welcome. my name is francis gary powers jr. i go by gary. i'm the founder of the cold war museum at vent hill, virginia, 45 miles west of washington dc. i founded the cold war museum in 1996 to honor cold war veterans, preserve cold war history, and educate future generations about this time period. what i realized when i was giving lectures to high school students in this area, nine times out of ten, the students would not know anything about the cold war or the u2 incident. they would think the u2 incident had something to do with the u2 rock band. as a result, i end up noticing that they needed to be taught about the cold wartime period. so in 1996, we founded the cold war museum, which opened in 2011 here at vent hill farms station.
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at former army communication base near the washington dc area. it used to be used by nsa, cia, afa, army security agency -- asa, and other groups monitor electronic communications from around the washington, d.c. embassy region and international signals that they were able to pick up from the atmosphere. so i'm going to take you on a tour today of the cold war museum. what is the cold war? the cold war was a time period, 46 years between 1945, september 2nd, end of world war ii, to december 26th, 1991, with the collapse of the soviet union. it was a geopolitical standoff between the soviets and the americans. each one a superpower, could have destroyed the world through a nuclear war. but the cold war prevented that. it was m.a.d., mutually assured destruction if one side or the other side threw out atomic
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bombs. there would be no winners. so this cold war was a state of heightened tension that did not have direct military conflict between the soviets and the americans. we fought wars and battles through surrogate countries, vietnam, korea, gulf war, afghan war. vint hill farms station was functional between world war ii and the mid-90s. after the end of the cold war in december of '91, the american government realized there was no need for this facility because there was no more soviet union. the cold war had ended. that, as well as it was an act called b.r.a.c., base realignment and closure act. and in the mid-90s, lots of military bases were shut down, cost savings, financial reasons. plus we didn't need as many facilities to monitor the soviet union since it didn't exist. so it was closed in the mid-90s. it sat vacant for about ten
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years. we found out that this was available. we pitched an idea to the vint hill economic development authority. they said, yes, we'd love to talk to you about locating here. and after a little bit of negotiations, we started in 2008. we opened in 2011 here at this facility. step this way. with a little overview of vint hill farms station. behind this mannequin is one of the original signs from vint hill farms station, talking about the communication base and that it was monitoring station number one. so in this room here, we have items similar to the type that would have been used by the military members and the agency members who were monitoring the traffic of the communications. so there are different radio receivers, transmitters, morse code receptors, even some original photos of the barn and the listening post that i can
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walk you through right here. back in world war ii and the cold war era, women as well as men were serving here as radio operators and receivers. it gives a very good history of the woman's role in the military at the time, everything from helping to defend our nation to what they do today, flying the planes and doing everything else on an add-needs-needed base is. right here is the barn complex prior to it becoming a listening post. and the story goes that the farmer who owned this farm was a ham radio operator. and he would pick up german communications and japanese communications and italian communications broadcasting on his ham radio. so he invited one of his friends over who was in the military, a general at the pentagon. the general was astounded that
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you could listen to these foreign broadcasts here at this location. so they did some surveys and found out that the top graphical area, the granite, the com position of the soil was such it's a natural receiver. so signals from around the world would be funneled here and could be listened to if they had the right devices. so the pentagon ended up buying the farm from the farmer. the farmer went andretired. then the farm turned into the vint hill farm station and was an active radio communication center through world war ii up through the mid-90s, after the end of the cold war. here's the original picture of the barn, what it looks like. we are basically in this building right now. and then we have more photos of what the barns looked like. so then once the listening post was active, it turned into a
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military base, and it was called vint hill farms station. here is a photograph of the fields with some of the antenna rays that you can see, some of the people looking at the different equipment and/or teletyping what they're doing. some of the original radio equipment similar to what we have inside on display. then more information over here of their radio antennas, the farm, the military personnel who were stationed here, the chow line, and then this is a good photo here of them working and listening to the radios, intercepting, and taking down notes as to what was being broadcast. over here, nice picture of the people working, intercepting the radio communications. and then this is a very nice picture of what the barn used to look like with all the receivers and the men and women who were stationed there, intercepting
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the radio broadcasts. now, in addition, while we're in this room, a different assortment of uniforms that we have in our collection. some are from world war ii. some are from the cold war era. this is an original coat rack from the civil defense headquarters in washington, d.c. so almost everything in here is original to one extent or another that deals with the cold war. recently this book came out called "code girls," and this talks about what the women in the military and the agencies did here at this site during world war ii and the cold war to monitor and intercept the radio communications. then again, right here as we start to exit, you can see what the vint hill base looked like back in the '50s. it was sigint, stands for signals intelligence. this is the type of intelligence
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operation they were doing here was intercepting the signals from the air. these are the type of antenna rays that were on site, that were picking up a variety of signals from around the world as well as the embassy communications from washington, d.c. and in world war ii when they first started using this facility as a listening post, they were listening to german, japanese, and italian frequencies. some would be cab dispatchers. some would be military communications. some would be normal radio communications to see what they were telling the public at the time. so it was a variety of different signals that they were intercepting, primarily to determine what channels were worth listening to, that could be of military strength and advantage. they would listen to the broadcasts, and when they found one that was important, they would transcribe it. they would not transcribe every bit of information that came across, only that which was crucial and critical to the
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wartime effort. then we're going to go into the next room here. here on this display, it's all about east germany, west germany, the iron curtain, the military liaison mission that was stationed here germany. there was a french mission, a russian mission, a british mission, and an american mission. and what we have here is an original license plate from one of the american missions, the cars that would go and do a little espionage activity occasionally across the iron curtain. some original pieces of the barbed wire from the hungarian border. an original sign that basically said, you know, halt, prohibi d prohibited, you cannot go past this location. a photograph of one of the cars they used to use. an original piece of the berlin wall that was painted by an artist and donated to the cold war museum. then if we go up a little bit, checkpoint charlie, one of the original arm bands that was used at the guard gate that separated
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east and west germany there in downtown berlin. and an assortment of other little east german and west german stamps and coins and booklets of the era. up on top, there are original berlin, east german, and west germany signs basically saying, halt, it's a border, you can't go past this, and to let people know that it was a dangerous area or that it was the no man's zone in between the border of east and west germany where the wall was. here we've got an original border marker that would separate east and west germany. it would give people walking in the area an idea that they were getting close to a border and to not cross over the border. then down here on the floor, one of our signs, again from east berlin, west berlin, saying that no photographs were allowed for the united states military liaison mission. the missions were allowed to be
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in the foreign countries, but they would always do a cat and mouse game and try to chase them out before they could take pictures. we're going to start to get into some civil defense. the cold war museum, back in about 2000-ish or so, we salvaged the headquarters for washington, d.c. this headquarters was located in lorton, virginia, 20 miles outside of the washington, d.c. area. in the event of a nuclear war with the soviets, this would have been the communication headquarter for civil defense. and this is a schematic that we drew up of the inside of the civil defense headquarters. and it has little cubicles here on one of the walls with gsa, with washington gas, with pepco energy supplier, department of transportation, fire, d.c. fire, u.s. park service, and all of them would have to be coordinated together to
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broadcast out the signals to their receivers, letting people know what's going on. is it safe to come out of your fallout shelters, trying to help them in the event of a nuclear war. so this is the schematic for the civil defense headquarters in washington, d.c. located in lorton, virginia. what we have behind are actual items from this headquarters. we have the geiger counters that would pick up the radiation signals. we have the original crackers and the biscuits that would help you to sustain life if you are stuck in a fallout shelter for two or three weeks on end. we have the emergency drinking water, nuclear attack survival kits that would put in shelters so that people would know they could survive a short period of time after the fallout. original medical tags, nuclear brochures. one of the original portable phones that is as big as a bread
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box. these fallout shelter signs were very prevalent during the cold war on most government buildings and school buildings and libraries that had basements. they would automatically be turned into a civil defense shelter. then up here, very unique. this is a fallout forecast chart, and this one was actually used there at the civil defense headquarters. so if the bomb dropped here and the wind was going this way, this is where the radioactive fallout would trail. and they'd have to then broadcast that out through the radio system, through all their divisions, to get the most exposure as possible. up here on the right, we have a couple of the civil defense hats and helmets that were worn, a couple of the posters that were utilized at the time. there's even a comic book about civil defense and what you can do to prepare. then over here, we've got a little cartoon character, civil
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defense guy, who would help kids and schools to learn about duck and cover drills. burt the turtle, and what to do in the event of a surprise attack. ♪ duck and cover >> be sure and remember what burt the turtle just did, friends, because every one of us must remember to do the same thing. that's what this film is all about -- duck and cover. this is an official civil defense film produced in cooperation with the federal civil defense administration and in consultation with the safety commission of the national education association. >> so right over here we have a couple of museum visitors looking at our displays. thank you for coming by today, folks. and a little bit more about civil defense. this film is talking about how to build a bomb shelter in your basement with cinder blocks. and then this is the manual that was used for that.
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and then inside this is more civil defense items. what do you need in a civil defense fallout shelter? if you're going to be cooped up for two weeks, you're going to need food. you need water. you need batteries, matches. you need toiletries. you need to have a way to listen, a radio in case any broadcasts are coming out. you need to have light for lanterns. you need to have a way to get fresh oxygen into the facility, and this was a hand-crank pump that would suck air in through filters. so as a result of my father being who he was, francis gary powers, u-2 pilot shot down may 1st of '60, we do have a small exhibit on the u-2 incident that my father went through. so over here, we have a silhouette of the u-2. we have a couple of books about the u-2 incident.
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my dad's autobiography, francis gary powers, operation overflight, produced in 1970. we have james donovan's book, strangers on a bridge. that was produced in 1965, and this is all about the soviet spy route that my father was exchanged for. we have my book published in 2017 called letterers from a soviet prison, that depicts his personal correspondence that my dad kept in prison. so it's a historic account of what he went through while incarcerated. we have a variety of different little things here. soviet sa 2 missiles, the type of missile that shot down my father and the type of missiles that were being deployed in cuba during the cuban missile crisis. we have this shovel that i brought back from russia from the missile base where my father
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was shot down. so this is an authentic cold war historic item from the missile base that shot down the u-2 on may 1st of 1960. in addition, we have this. you kind of have to back up to see. it's the booster stage of the sa2. the actual missile is 80 foot long. this booster is all we can fit in the museum at this time. the actual missile is outside in our storage facility next door. but it gives you an idea with this model of the sa2, the booster section is at the end. the fins are not on this particular model, but it gives you an idea of what this component is for. as you can see, even the scale model, the missile is 80 foot long, and my father was able to survive being shot down by the soviet sa-2 missile because it was not a direct hit. had it been a direct hit, he would have been in little pieces. but because it was a near miss, below and to the right of the fuselage of the exterior of the
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airplane, it damaged the tail section. the nose pitches forward. the wings break off. dad falls from 70,000 feet to about 35,000 feet before bailing out of the airplane. he doesn't use the ejection seat. if he did, whe would have severd his legs on the way out. dad basically opens up the canopy, undoes his harness, caught up by his air hose, struggling to get free, breaks free of the air hose, falls free of the airplane, parachute opens, parachutes to the ground. he's very lucky to have lived through the shoot-down. so as my father is parachuting to the ground, he's noticing a dark car following his descent. he lands on the outskirts of a collective farm. the farmers rush up to him, help him with his backpack, his parachute, his helmet, starts to ask him questions in russian. dad doesn't speak russian, shrugs his shoulders. who is this guy, doesn't speak
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our language, holds a pitchfork near them. a few minutes later, dad communicates in the dirt, usa, so they know he's an american. a few minutes go by, the black car shows up, two men get out, put him into the back seat, take him to a holding area. then he's turned over to the kgb. ♪ >> nikita khrushchev is shown as he told that gary powers was alive and that russia has seized five photographs made 1,400 miles inside soviet borders. the plane was brought down on may day. less than two weeks before the summit talks and mr. k. was quick to play on the incident for propaganda advantage. out in the open came a story of the most sensational intelligence operations yet revealed. america officially admits extensive flights over and around russia by unarmed planes during the last five years. state department spokesman lincoln white gave the reasons
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for the flights. >> given the state of the world today, intelligence collection activities are practiced by all countries, and post-war history certainly reveals that the soviet union has not been lagging behind in this field. >> they interrogate my father for three months. they put him before trial, an international show trial to embarrass the united states. his sentence is ten years in prison. he serves a total of 21 months before being exchanged for soviet spy rudolph abel. that's a very, very quick condensed version. if you'd like to learn more about the u-2 incident and what my father went through, google c-span, gary powers. there's a one-hour lecture from the virginia historical society online that you can watch and get a full detailed account of what took place. i'm interested in the cold wartime period and espionage primarily because i grew up in a cold war family. had my father not been shot down over the soviet union, imprisoned by the kgb, ultimately exchanged for a soviet spy, if movies had not
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been made about him or books written about him, i might have a different interest. but my dad died when i was 12 years old. at that time it was too late to ask him any questions. so in high school i was very introverted. i didn't understand the significance of what my father went through or why people wanted to talk to me about it. in college, i came out of my shell. i was curious. i started to ask questions. and i wasn't starting my research to vindicate my father. i knew there was controversy that surrounded him. but i just wanted to find out the truth so i knew how to answer questions. and so that desire to find out the truth set me on a lifelong passion to find out all i could about the u-2 incident. but the more i learned about the u-2 incident, the more questions there were. and i realized i had to understand more about the cold war to understand the u-2 incident, to learn more about my father. so that's why i started on this path, and as i grew and
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developed -- found out more information about the cold war, what i discovered is that there were hundreds, thousands of men and women who fought, sacrificed, and died during this time period that didn't have any recognition. so we developed the cold war museum to honor our cold war veterans. we also developed the museum to educate the kids so that they would understand what this cold wartime period was about. and had i not grown up in this powers family, i probably would have taken a different career path. back in 2015, two years ago, steven spielberg did a movie called "bridge of spies" that depicted the exchange of soviet spy rudolph abel for my father. and then we have here a little poster with dad on it, holding up a u-2. this was during his senate select committee hearing march 6th of '62 where he appeared before the senators in washington, d.c. to explain to them what happened with the u-2 incident and how his plane was
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shot down. this poster came from an exhibit at the nro, the national reconnaissance office, and it was set up there in the mid-90s. this is one of the posters they created for it. then as we go over, we have the glynnicer bridge. this is known as the bridge of spies. this is where my father was exchanged for soviet colonel rudolph abel. this is dad's tombstone at arlington cemetery, a photograph of rudolph abel, a photograph of khrushchev at the u.n. talking about the incident. and then over here we have an air force partial pressure suit, which is very similar to the type that the u-2 pilots would wear that were working for the cia at the time. the u-2s, in order to survive at 70,000 feet, had to have a pressure suit that would allow them to sustain their bodily
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functions and their lives at those altitudaltitudes. as we move over, here is a piece of the u-2 but not my father's. this piece is from major rudolph anderson's u-2 that was shot down on october 27th, 1962 during the cuban missile crisis. as a result of that shoot-down, he did die in that incident. back about 10 or 15 years ago, i was privileged enough to snip off a piece of this plane, mount it on a plaque, and we presented it to the family members of major anderson at del rio, texas. del rio, texas, was the air base where he flew out of on october 27th for his u-2 mission. so the family was very appreciative of our generosity to give them a piece of their loved one's plane. as we go over here, under the airplane of rudolph anderson, we have a u-2 camera that was
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functional, i want to say, in the later dates of the '70s, '80s, and '90s as opposed to the '60s. i can't tell you too much about the camera other than it was in the u-2s and when you look down here with the mirror, you can see the lenses coming out of the bottom. and as we go over, this is a light table, justly named because it's lit up. what you would do is the u-2s would take the photos. they would be developed. then the analysts would put them on these tables, and they would look for the military industrial complexes, the strengths and weaknesses of the soviet union, what type of military hardware, how many planes they had, how many bombers they had, how many missiles they had. and over here is a very unique photo that was interpreted. this is an original photo of an sa-2 base right there, blown up. so that's what it looks like
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from film. then when you blow it up, you can see the details. and this is the actual base in russia that shot down my dad's u-2 on may 1st of '60. so this is basically what my father was trying to photograph to confirm that it was operational. he found out firsthand it was. some other photos of the type of imagery that would be taken from the u-2, specifically this is cuban missile crisis, and the u-2s were taking these photos to show where construction was going on, where equipment was placed, where missile trailers were, where the e rector launch equipment is located as well as low-level flights with missile erectors, missile shield tents, the moving equipment, the tank trailers, et cetera. so this was the proof that i want to say adlai stevenson, back in the '60s, before the
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u.n. to prove to the world russia was putting in icbm missiles in cube very close to the united states border. >> this resolution calls an interim measure under article 40 of the charter for the immediate dismantling and withdrawal from cuba of all missile and other offensive weapons. >> this is a photograph of a constellation, a lockheed constellation that was used with an antenna array on the fuselage top to help pick up these signals. so during the cold war, we were trying to monitor as many of our enemies as possible in order to learn their strengths and weaknesses. we were using c-130s. we were using constellations. we were using u-2s. we were using a variety of different aircraft to fly over or around foreign hostile countries to monitor their activities. and this is a type of system that would have been inside one
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of these reconnaissance aircraft. as a result of this operation, there were, i want to say, 25 to 30 cold war shoot-downs between 1950 and 1970. my father was shot down may 1st of 1960 over the soviet union, and his shoot-down is one of the best known because it was so highly publicized. it was an international incident. eisenhower got caught lying. khrushchev ended up banging his shoe. dad ended up with two years in a soviet prison. but he was not the only plane shot down. there were some 25 to 30 planes shot down during the cold war. i'm going to talk about a few of those shoot-downs now. here we had a conference that we participated in about early cold war overflights and it talked about these cold war ferret flights where the airplanes would zoom into the border of the soviet union and at the very last minute, they would diverge
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right or left. but that would allow the soviets to enact their radar system, their missile system, scramble their jets. it would allow us to figure out how quick they were able to scramble, how quick they were able to turn on their radars to fire their missiles to get ready for an attack. it gave us an upper hand. we knew that we had five minutes to get in and drop bombs if it ever resulted to that during the cold war. so we were testing their strengths and weaknesses as well as gathering information from within their borders through overhead reconnaissance. here is another poster on the first cold war shoot-down called the baltic sea incident of 1950. this airplane was shot down april 8th of 1950, and this is a poster of the 50th anniversary of that shoot-down. this person, mrs. reynolds, donated her p.o.w./m.i.a. jacket. her husband was one of the crew members lost on this mission. she donated not only the jacket
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but some other personal a artifacts to us for display. here we've got a piece of a plane that was shot down on january 28th of 1964. here is another piece of a plane, a c-130 that was shot down on september 2nd, 1958. this was shot down over soviet armenia, and this is one of the pieces of the plane that was donated to the cold war museum. here we have an artwork poster called a hot day during the cold war. it's signed by the crew members of this mission as well as the artist, and it depicts a cold war shoot-down of july -- i want to say july 1st of 1960, but i'm not sure if that's the exact date or not. but it's a similar shoot-down incident. this here is called a blood chit. a blood chit was used by the crew members of these flights. if they were shot down or forced down over enemy territory, in 14 different languages it would say
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"i am an american and do not speak your language. i need food, shelter, and assistance. i will not harm you. i bear no malice towards your people. if you will help me, my government will reward you." this was in 14 different languages to be used in the event of a shoot-down or a forced landing in hostile country. this here, we're getting into a u-2 display and an sr-71 display. the u-2 and the sr-71 were the best known reconnaissance aircraft of the time, prooimari because my father was shot down in the u-2, and the sr-71 was so sleek and so fast and so ahead of its time that it's a very, very well known plane. so this here is a display on the u-2s and the sr-71s. this is an actual, an original diagram of the u-2, the schematics that were used to build and design the plane. this was presented to the cold
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war museum by one of the members of the lockheed skunkworks, who worked on the project in the 1950s. kelly johnson's photo here, the designer of these planes, a brilliant aeronautical engineer. lockheed martin skunkworks is the designer of the u-2 and the sr-71. >> on december 9th, 1954, the go-ahead was given, and lockheed's chief engineer, kelly johnson, called together his tiny, 26-man special projects engineering group. here were the problems they faced -- to design, build an airplane, and fly it in eight months. an airplane that would cruise well above 70,000 feet, one that would travel almost as far as a b-52 and remain in the air for ten hours. a plane that would be completely reliable with forced landings out of the question. a plane that would be the world's most stable aircraft for high-altitude photography.
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>> in the display case here, we've got, again, u-2 models, some photographs, u-2 shirts. one of the models that was produced in the '50s. the black cat insignia on these two plaques helps to designate the u-2 program and the u-2s that were flying over china during the cold war. but what a lot of people don't realize is the americans did not only fly the u-2 over the soviet union. they flew it over other foreign hospital i hostile countries, iraq, iran, eastern european countries, the middle east, soviet union and other countries as needed. the planes that were flown over china were flown by taiwanese pilots that were trained by the cia to fly these missions over communist china. four or five u-2s were shot down over china.
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not a lot of people realized that, but that is declassified. i'm not giving away any secrets. it is something you can look up and find a very famous photo of the four or five u-2s in tiananmen square on display. as we go over here, a very unique item we've got here. it's a plaster paris item. it's mao's ear. mao, the chinese leader, had several body doubles. and in order for the cia to determine if it was really mao or his body double, they made a plaster paris model of his ear. ears, like fingerprints, are unique to every individual. and so this model was made by the cia. dino brugionne, one our museum supporters, was given this after
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he left the cia. and then after he passed away, his son gave this ear to the museum. so this is a very unique piece of cold war history created by the cia to make sure that a foreign leader was identified correctly when he was out in public. we have different exhibits here, a little information on different spies who were caught and what espionage is about and how you are able to communicate skre secretly, a little parody on spy versus spy, through mad magazine. then we have a little more information on espionage, human intelligence and how people would go into foreign countries illegally, set up a foreign cover, and then extract information to bring back to their country's homeland such as rudolph abel.
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rudolph abel with the soviet spy who snuck into america in the '50s, worked with people such as the rosenbergs to get information back to the soviet union to find out the strengths and weaknesses of america. so here we have an exhibit on area 51 and the atomic bomb, what was taking place with nuclear development, nuclear technology. so this is a map that talks about where all the different blasts were done in the nevada desert during the testing of the atomic bomb. here is an original photo of one of the mushroom clouds from one of these locations. a nuclear device being tested and getting ready for a test explosion. and other photos here of the mushroom clouds in the desert. as we go up the stairs, civil defense atomic bomb information. a photograph of area 51. area 51 is the top secret
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government base in the nevada desert, but technically no one's allowed to go over there. it doesn't exist. the american government, i think, just recently four years ago finally acknowledged it existed. but here are some signs from the military installation that were basically saying, restricted. you cannot go here. authorized personnel only as well as deadly force would be used. and this mountaintop that these people were on taking this photo was open to the public. and eventually the government realized that people were taking photographs of their secret military base. so they ended up acquiring more acreage of land around the test site to prevent these type of photos from coming out. all right. so here we are on the second floor of the cold war museum, and we start off with a little exhibit on area 51, the roswell crash of the ufo in '47, and talked a little bit about what was taking place at area 51. in addition to the development of the u-2 spy plane, which is why area 51 was created, they
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also did testing over there of other platforms. for example, there used to be a secret mig squadron that would do the -- i want to say top gun training of the time, to train our fighter pilots on the capabilities of the soviet and/or foreign airplanes and fighter planes. so we would acquire these russian migs. we would pick them apart, reassemble them, and then test them against our planes to determine their vulnerabilities so that we would have a better advancement against them in the event of an actual conflict. as we walk through here, on the right side, so these uniforms along with the other east german items were collected by one individual, gerald wilkerson. gerald wilkerson is one of the museum's supporters. he lives in texas now. but he donated these items to us. i want to say 15 years ago.
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and it was an incredible collection of the plaques, the signs, wood, metal from stasi headquarters, from east german military units. and one of the largest collections of east german military items in america, i think i can say accurately, is here at the cold war museum in virginia. so we have, as you look down this top floor, the flags from the former soviet union and other eastern european countries. the warsaw pact countries. we have east german phones, radios, transmitters, photogr h photographs, night vision goggles for tanks and helmets, photographs of one of the people jumping over the berlin wall when it was first being erected to escape. a collection here of soviet propaganda posters that were donated to the cold war museum
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and a variety of them. and these were all used during the cold war as propaganda to show how evil the americans were and how great the soviets were. and so when school groups come in here, we let them go through and talk about -- and we talk to them about the cold war, these propaganda posters and what we were doing to safeguard americans at home throughout the cold war. different eastern european cigarettes. models of migs and other types of weapons systems from the soviet union and east berlin and the former eastern bloc countries. so here we have one of the original jackets from a crew member who was stationed in fermosa at a nike missile base between 1958 and 1959.
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fermosa turned into taiwan. we have a variety of different posters, newspaper articles about the cold war era. the soviet space race, the american space race. the cosmonauts as well as the astronauts during that time period. movie posters about cold war films. and, again, some of this was propaganda films that were being produced to show how evil the soviets were, if we were here, or to show how evil the americans were if you were in russia. gas masks, a variety of east jefand german gas masks that would have been used in the event of a chemical or biological attack during the cold war. different of the insignia that would go on your shoulders or your sleeves of the east german uniforms. this here is an authentic soviet major general's winter coat presented to the cold war museum
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by the individual who wore it. so as we go along, again, soviet military uniforms -- colonel, major, quartermaster. we have types of uniforms that would be used in the field for camouflage. the winter field uniforms that were used. as we make our way around, and you can look down this next section, more of the flags from the various eastern bloc countries that were part of the soviet union. poster on the type of warsaw pact planes and helicopters that were being used during the cold war era. a little bit of information on missiles. so these are american and soviet missiles. a little plaque that shows you the difference. and we have a plaque, a desk plaque for an american missile that sat on some general a desk during the cold war.
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navy uniform, dress blues for a sailor. here we have a soviet naval uniform, an east german sailor's uniform. as we get over here, we have a small display on the uss liberty incident. the uss liberty incident took place june 8th of 1967. it was an incident that involved israel and the united states. israel attacked the uss liberty. several crew members died. this is the type of battle wounds that were done on the ship. this is one of the original uniforms worn by one of the crew members of the uss liberty on june 8th of 1967. these are photographs that the crew members of the uss liberty gave to us so that we could promote and showcase this cold war event. and then one of the jackets that they made up for the reunions to remember the uss liberty.
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that event is still controversial. the crew members of the liberty would like congress to reopen the investigation to determine the cause of the attack and whether it was intentional or not. i don't know for sure the behind the scenes dealings as to what took place, but i know that the crew members are adamant as to getting their version of what took place out in the open, and i think that's very important now that it's been 50-plus years. over on this side, a very unique exhibit on the uss pueblo. the uss pueblo was captured in 1968, january 23rd, in north korea. the ship was boarded. the sailors were taken prisoner. they served almost one year, maybe a little more, in a north korean prison. this is a prisoner's uniform, an original one that was used by a crew member of the uss pueblo while incarcerated in north korea back in 1968.
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the commander of the uss pueblo was pete bucher. pete bucher wrote this book about his experiences, and we're very happy that dale rigby is the gentleman who donated his prisoner uniform to the cold war museum. over here, a little bit about the berlin candy bomber. the berlin air lift. the berlin air lift took place from 1948 to 1949, about 18 months. every 90 seconds during this time period, these type of planes would be landing at temple hoff air base in west berlin. they would unload fuel, coal, food, water, and supplies to keep the west berliners free during this incident that was known as the berlin blockade, the berlin airlift. the soviets were trying to keep the americans out. they were trying to take over west berlin, which was
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surrounded by east germany. but because of the berlin airlift, their efforts were thwarted. and as a result, west berlin remained free. and this is all about the berlin airlift, the candy bomber. gale hal verson, he's about 97 years old now, a friend of mine. we've been on different panels together. he's a patriarch for lack of a better term, in germany. he endeared himself to the children of berlin after the berlin airlift because he would make these type of parachutes. he would put candy bars. they'd float down to the kids below. he was known as uncle wiggly wings to the german kids because he would come in, and he would wiggle his wings as he was approaching, and the kids would know that that's the plane that had the candy. and in 1948, there was no chocolate in germany. it was war-torn, ravaged.
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it's right after world war ii. supplies are very hard to get. so he dropped wrigley's spearmint gom aum and hershey's chocolate out of the plane to the kids that were watching planes land there at temple hoff. here we have information on cuba again, and the cuban missile crisis, the bay of pigs and what took place there. decastro, julio decastro, one of our people supporters was being trained along with other cubans to invade cuba. he donated his uniform to the museum. we have what we believe is raul castro's military hat. it's not 100% confirmed that it is, but we are 90% sure that it was. we're still trying to verify and document it. but it says here, cuban military hat purportedly owned by raul castro, fidel castro's brother. the hat bears the insignia of the cuban armed revolutionary forces. halloween masks of the era,
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1962, castro and khrushchev. autographed print of the type of planes that were flying low-level missions over cuba during the cuban missile crisis. and it was the rf-101 that you see here that was flying the low-level missions. this is a very unique piece. notes made by president kennedy, october '62. he's in a briefing. he's making his notes. at the end of it, he rips up the paper, throws it away. his -- i want to say -- secretary salvaged the paper. yes, evelyn lincoln salvaged the paper, and then she kept it and then through some sources, we were able to acquire it, and it's now on display at the cold war museum. dood doodles. so here is a piece of paper that john f. kennedy was doodling on during the cuban missile crisis briefing missions there at the white house. you can see are very unique -- good, good, good, bad, bad, bad.
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this is one of my favorite posters. it was produced by a gentleman by the name of morrisberg. and i had the privilege of talking to him on the phone prior to his passing a few years ago. and he told me the following story. he was in berkeley, california. he was a student there. this is the early 1960s, and he would make these parody posters against the soviet union. and so he would sell them in the bookstores and the record stores in berkeley. well, then the counterculture took over berkeley. the peace movement came in, the hippies came in, and berkeley transformed into a very liberal enclave, which didn't appreciate this guy making fun of the soviet union. and what i thought when i first found these posters is that, oh, this guy was some berkeley person who was anti-america, who was doing these things. after talking to him, it turned out he was a member of the military.
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he was in the navy. he was a staunch conservative, and he was making fun of soviet union and other eastern bloc countries. so perception is not always correct. i thought because he came from berkeley, he had a liberal attitude. turned out he was very, very conservative, and he had this story about how he was run out of town once they turned from conservative to liberal in berkeley. more information on lenin and stalin, a little bit more about the ussr, some original banners and flags, and it's something you don't see much anymore, a map of the soviet union. and the soviet union, i want to say went through 11 or 12 time zones. then here is one of the last exacts about the fall of the berlin wall and the collapse of the soviet union. what took place between 1989 and 1991 when the cold war was ending. and so we've got a picture of
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gorbachev, mikael gorbachev, along with ronald reagan, the two folks that were instrumental in helping to end the cold war. president reagan gets all the credit for ending the cold war, but the cold war actually ended when president bush was in office. so it's important for children and students to know about the cold war. in order to understand the world today, in order to understand this war on terror that we're living in, you have to understand how we got here, and we got here through the cold war. i want to give you one example of how this connects. in 1979, the soviets invade afghanistan. it's the afghan war. it was the soviets' vietnam war. it was an unpopular war in the soviet union, and many of their soldiers were being killed by the rebels who were fighting the invaders. one of the rebels who was fighting against the soviets was
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osama bin laden. the cia trained osama bin laden, supplied him with weapons to fight the soviets. well, jump forward to 9/11, osama bin laden uses some of what he's learned to attack america. and here we have this tie-in from the cold war to the war on terror. so that's why it's so important for students to understand the significance of the cold war to understand how it got us here today. this is a special edition of american history tv, a sample of the compelling history programs that air every weekend on american history tv, like lectures in history, american artifacts, real america, the civil war, oral histories, the presidency, and special event coverage about our nation's history. enjoy american history tv now
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and every weekend on c-span3. this weekend on c-span, saturday night at 8:00 eastern, a forum on immigration policy and how to protect immigrant children. on sunday at 6:30 p.m., historians, authors, and community activists discuss the history and intersection of islamaphobia, anti-semitism, and white supremacy. and at 9:00, president george w. bush and former defense secretary robert gates talk about governing and leadership. saturday on book tv on c-span2, at 2:00 eastern, we take you to the san antonio book festival. then sunday at 9:00 eastern on afterwords, arthur brooks on his book, love your enemies. saturday night on american history tv on c-span3, at 10:00 p.m. eastern on real america, the 1942 u.s. agriculture
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department's film "democracy at work in puerto rico: profiling the island's history, culture and challenges." then sunday at 4:30 eastern, former u.s. secretary of state condoleezza rice on the changing role of u.s. democracy and foreign policy over the last 100 years. watch this weekend on the c-span networks. each week, american artifacts takes you to museums and historic places to learn about american history. next we tour the u.s. army medical department museum at fort sam houston in san antonio to see several advances made by army medics in the past 200 years. director george wunderlich shows us a civil war era electrotherapy machine, transport helicopters used during the vietnam war, and a unique contraption to combat


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