USA & Canada 2007

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South Dakota - Day Two

We visited Mt. Rushmore. It is quite impressive.

The walk way up to Mt Rushmore

Now for the interesting part.
Before reaching Mt. Rushmore, we visited a retired Minute Man Missile Site. That is why we had to stay at the low end motel last night. It was very close to the Missile Site and the only motel for miles around.

The underground control room of the Minute Man Missile complex.

One of the desks at the Launch Center. Note the old rotary dial phone on the right side of the desk.
As there was a lot of ''do nothing time'', the government paid for all the military people there to get a Masters Degree in Business Administration. So they spent their leisure time underground studying for their advanced college degree.
Working in the underground missile control room was a voluntary assignment and I imagine that the college masters degree was an added benefit to get volunteers.

The photo above is the top of the launch silo where the missile is housed.

For the tourists, they have replaced the silo cover with a glass one so that we could look down and see a missile
(a non workable one of course).
As Teddy Roosevelt said, ''Speak softly and carry a BIG stick''. This is the big stick.
There were many missiles in total stationed in North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.
As a result of the SALT treaty with the Russians, the number of missiles has been drastically reduced.