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Contact: Ryan Meyer - Project Manager, 305-242-7015
Contact: Linda Friar - Media Contact, 305-242-7714
HOMESTEAD, FLORIDA – Come celebrate Veteran's Day 2010 with park rangers and volunteers at Everglades National Park. Entrance fees at all park fee stations will be waived for this national holiday set aside to recognize America's veterans. To commemorate this important day, the park is hosting an Open House at the Historic Nike Hercules Missile Base on Thursday November 11th, 2010 from 10am to 3pm.
This is a great opportunity to take a step back in time and explore this historic American military site where armed nuclear missiles once stood guard. Following the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 the US Army built a number of missile sites around south Florida to protect the local population, including this little known base in the middle of Everglades National Park. Today this site is the best preserved example of these missile bases. A formal presentation will be provided at 11am, 1pm, and 3pm by Ranger Ryan Meyer who will discuss the Cuban Missile crisis and the air defense of south Florida during this period. No reservations are needed for these special programs.
The base in the park was listed on the U. S. Department of the Interior’s National Register of Historic Places on July 27, 2004. The area includes structures associated with events following the Cuban Missile Crisis and the larger Cold War. This base is one of four that were built in South Florida.
The Open House will begin at the Daniel Beard Center, about 7 miles from the Ernest Coe Visitor Center. The fully accessible walking tours will cover about ½ mile. Visitors should be prepared to drive 14 miles round trip from the visitor center. The Ernest Coe Visitor Center is located 9 miles southwest of Homestead on State Road 9336.
Additional information about the Nike Missile site can be found on our website at http://www.nps.gov/ever/historyculture or by calling (305) 242-7015.