On December 17, 1963, shortly after President Kennedy’s assassination, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara gave NATO ministers a top secret briefing on the state of U.S. nuclear weapons and policy and reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to NATO under the new president.
The Original Skybolt Agreement (1960)
The text of the original Skybolt agreement signed by President Dwight Eisenhower and British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan on March 29, 1960, at Camp David. It also covered Polaris and the use of the Scottish submarine base Holy Loch, west of Glasgow.
The Minuteman Missile
An edited film showing the design, building, and testing of the Minuteman ICBM in 1963, including the construction of hardened launch silos and inside the command center.
Nuclear Tests at Bikini Atoll and Nevada Testing Ground
High speed film footage of above-ground and underground nuclear tests at Bikini Atoll and Nevada Testing Ground, including nuclear weapons effects tests.
The U.S. Nuclear Missile Arsenal in the Early 1960s
An overview of U.S. missile forces in the early 1960s.
B-52s at DEFCON 2 during the Cuban Missile Crisis
Footage of B-52s at DEFCON 2 alert at Barksdale Air Force Base at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis. Includes a shot of a B-52 taking off armed with a GAM-77 Hound Dog nuclear air-launched cruise missile. According to the camera operator’s slate, the footage was shot on October 27, 1962, widely regarded as the most dangerous day of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
B-52 Bombers on DEFCON 2 Alert during the Cuban Missile Crisis
B-52 bombers in the Strategic Air Command on alert at Barksdale Air Force Base on October 27, 1962, widely regarded as the most dangerous day of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Strategic Air Command B-47 Bombers Dispersed during the Cuban Missile Crisis
B-47 bombers of the Strategic Air Command are stationed on the tarmac at Memphis Airport during the Cuban Missile Crisis. They were stationed here during the crisis as part of the mobilization procedures to disperse SAC’s forces to make them less vulnerable to surprise attack. SAC was at DEFCON 2 at the time.
British Nuclear Weapons Stockpile, 1953-2013
Charts showing the growth and reduction in the number of British nuclear weapons over the past 60 years after the United Kingdom became the third member of the nuclear club.
Test Launch of the Titan ICBM
Mult-camera coverage of a test launch of the Titan VS-1 intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) rocket. The Titan VS-1 was launched from an in-ground silo.
The Risk of Suitcase Atomic Bombs Being Smuggled into the United States
A 1954 memorandum discussing the risk of an enemy smuggling a suitcase-style atomic bomb into the United States.
JFK Visits Strategic Air Command Headquarters after the Cuban Missile Crisis
Film footage of President John F. Kennedy visiting the headquarters of the Strategic Headquarters in at Offutt Air Force Base, near Omaha, Nebraska, on December 7, 1962. Includes his arrival on Air Force One and delivering brief remarks.