About This Lesson
This lesson is based on the National Register of Historic Places registration file, "Minuteman Missile National Historic Site;" The Missile Plains: Frontline of America's Cold War, Historic Resource Study, Minuteman Missile National Historic Site; and primary sources dealing with the Cold War. The lesson is a collaborative effort produced by the Division of Interpretation at Minuteman Missile National Historic Site. It was edited by the Teaching with Historic Places staff. This lesson is one in a series that brings the important stories of historic places into classrooms across the country.
Where it fits into the curriculum
Topics: The lesson can be used in American history, social studies, and geography courses in units on modern American history, the Cold War, American foreign policy, 20th century military history, or modern world history.
Time period: Late 1950s to early 1990s
Relevant United States History Standards for Grades 5-12
Relevant Curriculum Standards for Social Studies
Find your state's social studies and history standards for grades Pre-K-12
Objectives for students
1) Explain the Cold War and how it differed from "hot" wars (or armed conflict).
2) Compare and contrast the benefits of solid and liquid fuel ballistic missile systems.
3) Outline how the Cold War influenced the development and deployment of the
Minuteman Missile weapons system.
4) Investigate the role of Missileers during the Cold War.
5) Conduct oral histories to learn about how the Cold War impacted their community
Materials for students
The materials listed below either can be used directly on the computer or can be printed out, photocopied, and distributed to students. The maps and images appear twice: in a smaller, low-resolution version with associated questions and alone in a larger version.
1) two maps showing missile fields in the United States and missile sites in South Dakota;
2) three readings on the Cold War, Minuteman Missiles, and life as a missileer;
3) six photographs of various Cold War subjects and Minuteman Missile facilities.
Visiting the site
The Minuteman Missile National Historic Site consists of two detached facilities: Launch Control Facility, Delta-01 and Launch Facility, Delta-09. Tours are offered daily throughout the year and begin at the park's Project Office located off Interstate 90 exit 131. For more information write the superintendent at: Minuteman Missile National Historic Site, 21280 SD Hwy. 240, Philip, SD 57567 or call: 605-433-5552, or visit the park's website.