Education

This page features articles, posts, blurbs, and other informational pieces related to WSMR History. If you would like to submit an article to be published on our website, please send us an email at usarmy.wsmr.museum@mail.mil.

The 1983 War Scare

Some of the weapons tested at WSMR had a great impact not only for their military uses, but in a larger geopolitical context. One of these is the Pershing II missile and the role it played in the 1983 “War Scare.” Because of President Ronald Reagan’s heated anti-Soviet rhetoric, fears the Soviet Leadership and KGB had of an American first strike, and events of 1983, the US and USSR came closer to nuclear war than at any time since the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.

The Los Alamos Main Gate

Life at Los Alamos

In November, 1942, Dr. Robert Oppenheimer and Colonel John Dudley visited Jemez Springs, near the Valles Caldera – a large volcanic crater and field in northwest New Mexico. Having considered other locations for the creation of a laboratory, the group found themselves in this remote part of New Mexico in pursuit of a location to bring together the various scattered groups who had been working on “problems” relating to the potential creation of a nuclear bomb.

The V-2 Program: Operation Backfire to the Hermes Project

Although America was slow to recognize the work of Doctor Robert Hutchings Goddard, his work was well known in Germany where experimenters had designed the V-2 rocket engine using his ideas. There was evidence that the Germans had followed Dr. Goddard’s work closely from his first published paper. It was apparent that the V-2 rocket, while much larger, was almost identical to missiles that had been tested at Roswell, New Mexico.

The Hermes Program

By Darren Court, Museum Director/Curator and the WSMR Public Affairs Office

The Trinity Test Site

Compiled and Written by Gerry Veara, White Sands Missile Range Historical Foundation

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