Historic Nike Hill

"I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."- Albert Einstein

In the Cold War, the end of the world came very close to being in the form of a mushroom cloud, resulting in WWIII. Waukesha, Wisconsin has a little known relic of the Cold War in case nuclear war would actually erupt. This relic of the Cold War is a Nike missile base and was active from 1956-1971. Its official name was site M-74, but was known to Waukesha natives as Nike
Hill.

Its duty in case of nuclear war, along with approximately 300 other Nike missile bases nation-wide, was to be a last line of defense from air attacks. Its main objective was to blow up planes from the Soviet Union on board with nuclear weapons. The Nike missile, with a range of only 25 miles, with the help of radar would lock on to the plane and then explode the plane and its nuclear weapon in the air, before it had the chance to drop its deadly payload. Though the Cold War ended nearly twenty years ago, Nike Hill defiantly remains. It is no longer called site M-74 or Nike Hill, but rather Hillcrest Park. It remains relatively untouched, though it has not aged well. What remain are a radar tower, framework for an antenna, the blast shelter, and the barracks. Only two former Nike sites have been restored and made into museums for the public, but majority of them just rust away. Right in Waukesha, Nike Hill, if it was restored and turned into a museum could become popular tourist attraction.

Sure, my county already has a museum full of the history of Waukesha, but it is different to see the things that made history rather than see where the history was made. You would be able to walk the paths those stationed there and understand the stress that they went through because the lives of thousands could have depended on site M-74. Waukesha doesn't really have much interactive history preserved. Sure, Waukesha has the old spring water wells from the early 1900s but most are boarded up and wouldn't be very much to see even if they were restored. If Nike Hill were restored it would commemorate America's longest conflict and would truly be remembered.

Other than the historical value of the site, it could also produce revenue for Waukesha and its park service. By charging a small free for entrance to a possible museum at Nike Hill the money that it would cost to restore the site would eventually be paid back. The city of Waukesha has owned the site since March of 2006, but still nothing has been done to restore the site. Some years ago an attempt was made to make the site into a Cold War museum, but it failed due to a lack of funding.

Site M-74, once the site one of Wisconsin's primer Nike missile bases, is now slowly fading away, a defiant relic of a distant age. The Cold War was time when two superpowers prepared for an Armageddon that would never come. Our Nike site could have had the crucial role of taking out a nuke before it took us out. We cannot forget the Cold War and Waukesha's role in it, and making Nike Hill a museum would make sure we wouldn't ever forget.

In the Cold War, the end of the world came very close to being in the form of a mushroom cloud, resulting in WWIII. Waukesha, Wisconsin has a little known relic of the Cold War in case nuclear war would actually erupt. This relic of the Cold War is a Nike missile base and was active from 1956-1971. Its official name was site M-74, but was known to Waukesha natives as Nike
Hill.

Its duty in case of nuclear war, along with approximately 300 other Nike missile bases nation-wide, was to be a last line of defense from air attacks. Its main objective was to blow up planes from the Soviet Union on board with nuclear weapons. The Nike missile, with a range of only 25 miles, with the help of radar would lock on to the plane and then explode the plane and its nuclear weapon in the air, before it had the chance to drop its deadly payload. Though the Cold War ended nearly twenty years ago, Nike Hill defiantly remains. It is no longer called site M-74 or Nike Hill, but rather Hillcrest Park. It remains relatively untouched, though it has not aged well. What remain are a radar tower, framework for an antenna, the blast shelter, and the barracks. Only two former Nike sites have been restored and made into museums for the public, but majority of them just rust away. Right in Waukesha, Nike Hill, if it was restored and turned into a museum could become popular tourist attraction.

Sure, my county already has a museum full of the history of Waukesha, but it is different to see the things that made history rather than see where the history was made. You would be able to walk the paths those stationed there and understand the stress that they went through because the lives of thousands could have depended on site M-74. Waukesha doesn't really have much interactive history preserved. Sure, Waukesha has the old spring water wells from the early 1900s but most are boarded up and wouldn't be very much to see even if they were restored. If Nike Hill were restored it would commemorate America's longest conflict and would truly be remembered.

Other than the historical value of the site, it could also produce revenue for Waukesha and its park service. By charging a small free for entrance to a possible museum at Nike Hill the money that it would cost to restore the site would eventually be paid back. The city of Waukesha has owned the site since March of 2006, but still nothing has been done to restore the site. Some years ago an attempt was made to make the site into a Cold War museum, but it failed due to a lack of funding.

Site M-74, once the site one of Wisconsin's primer Nike missile bases, is now slowly fading away, a defiant relic of a distant age. The Cold War was time when two superpowers prepared for an Armageddon that would never come. Our Nike site could have had the crucial role of taking out a nuke before it took us out. We cannot forget the Cold War and Waukesha's role in it, and making Nike Hill a museum would make sure we wouldn't ever forget.





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