Mark the 25th Anniversary of the START Treaty at Minuteman Missile National Historic Site

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Date: July 20, 2016
Contact: Joe Brehm, 605 433-5552 ext. 1241

Cactus Flat, SD – Join the staff of Minuteman Missile National Historic Site for a weekend of programs to mark the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty of 1991.

The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) was signed on July 31, 1991 by President George H.W. Bush and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. The treaty limited the number of Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) and nuclear warheads either country could possess. The treaty directly led to the deactivation and destruction of 450 Minuteman II silos and 45 associated Launch Control Facilities.Due in part to treaty language, the US Air Force worked with the National Park Service to preserve a single launch control facility and silo;today these two sites, the Launch Control Facility Delta-01 and the Delta-09 Missile Silo, are comprise Minuteman Missile National Historic Site.

First proposed by President Ronald Reagan in 1982, the treaty restricted the United States to approximately 8,556 nuclear warheads and the Soviet Union to approximately 6,449 nuclear warheads. The START Treaty established limits on all parts of the American nuclear triad;weapons in excess of the agreed upon number would be disarmed and associated facilities dismantled. The Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty represented the first step back away from the potential of a nuclear fueled Armageddon and toward a future of cooperation and security, resulting in the removal of about 80 percent of all strategic nuclear weapons then in existence.

As a part of the national celebration of the Centennial of the National Park Service, Minuteman Missile National Historic Site will celebrate the 25th anniversary of the signing of the treaty with a three day film festival, the inauguration of a new children's program, and a commemorative ceremony followed by an anniversary cake cutting.

The film festival will run Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and will consist of showings episodes of CNN's Cold War documentary along with Cold War era films, including the influential ABC movie that changed it all, "The Day After." The film festival will run Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and will consist of showings episodes of CNN's Cold War documentary along with "Dr. Strangelove" on Friday, the PBS documentary "The Bomb" on Saturday, and the influential 1983 ABC movie, "The Day After" on Sunday. The CNN episodes will be shown in the mornings with the daily special presentation starting at 1:00 PM every day.

The commemorative ceremony and cake cutting will take place at noon on Saturday July 30th. At 1:00 p.m. Saturday will be the debut of the park's new hands-on youth activity, Junior Missileer, in which kids will have the chance to build a foam "missile" of their own and launch it.

Minuteman Missile National Historic Site's headquarters and visitor center is located off of exit 131, Interstate 90. The park consists of three sites along a fifteen mile stretch of Interstate 90 in Western South Dakota. Authorized by Congress in 1999, Minuteman Missile National Historic Site preserves components of the Minuteman II intercontinental ballistic missile system, interpreting the deterrent value of the land-based portion of America's nuclear defense during the Cold War era and commemorating the people and events associated with this recent period of American history. The park is open daily 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. except Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. More information about the park can be found on the internet at or by phone at: 605-433-5552. Visit us on Facebook at and Twitter at

About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 412 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at, on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube

Last updated: July 25, 2016

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24545 Cottonwood Road
Philip, SD 57567


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