Nuclear Reactions: background materials
Golden Gate NRA, Historical Archives
The curriculum for Nuclear Reactions includes resources to help teachers prepare for a trip to the Nike missile launch facility in the Marin Headlands, along with materials to aid in learning about the history of this unique historic site.
Prior to bringing your class to the Nike site, please complete the lesson, How do competing ideologies exist?, on pages 2 and 3 of the curriculum. Included in this lesson is a short, introductory video. The video link is on our Nuclear Reactions home page.
Following your visit to the Nike site, use any of the resources described below to delve deeper into the Cold War experience.
The Nike missile fact sheet provides an overview of the Nike missile site in the Marin Headlands. To begin to consider Nike site SF-88L in the historical context of the Cold War, read a short history of Nike Hercules, written by the park historian of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. To consider the dialectic of peace and war in a military landscape, view a slide show, Dissonant Vistas. An essay, Alternative Perspectives on the Cold War, provides a summary of global impressions of and responses to the nuclear arms race from the 1940s though the 1980s. Download What We Have We Will Defend (61 MB) for a detailed history of Nike site SF-88L, including the National Park Service's interim preservation plan for this Cold War historic site. A doctoral dissertation by John Smoley provides an in-depth discussion of historic preservation and the public memory of the Nike missile system.
Return to this page periodically for additional materials and historic photographs from the Nike missile site in the Marin Headlands.
Alternative perspectives on the Cold War (written in 2008)
Did You Know?
GGNRA owns two of these rare, wood-frame shacks, built in 1906 to shelter survivors of the famous San Francisco earthquake. Now located at the Presidio, these shacks once comprised 24 city blocks and at peak occupancy, housed a total of 16,448 refugees.