PLATTSBURGH - The Clinton County Historical Museum recently opened its newest exhibit on the North Country's role in the Cold War.
The exhibit is titled "MAD," which is the acronym for Mutual Assured Destruction or the military doctrine based on the capability of the Soviet Union and the United States capability of annihilating each other with nuclear weapons.
The exhibit covers the period of the Plattsburgh Strategic Air Command base from 1955-1995 when it was home to an arsenal of nuclear bombers, refueling tankers, and thousands of airmen. The area's strategic importance became even more obvious in 1960 with the installation of 12 Atlas missile sites in a 50 mile radius around Plattsburgh, the only intercontinental ballistic missiles east of the Mississippi.
MAD highlights the incredible rush to complete the construction and arming of the missile sites during the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. The civil defense side of the story is also on display with supplies from fallout shelters and civilian evacuation directions since Plattsburgh was deemed a Category One target.
The Clinton County Historical Association, which operates the museum, is in the process of raising funds to supplement a $3,000 grant received from the Association of Air Force Missileers to create the exhibit.
"We need to raise about $2,000," said museum curator and director Carol Blakeslee-Collin, who noted the exhibit went over budget.
"We've asked retired missileers who were involved with research for the exhibit and retired FB-111 pilots," she said, adding the request is also being put out tot he general public.
Those interested in making a contribution toward the exhibit may send donations in care of the museum to 98 Ohio Ave., Plattsburgh N.Y. 12903.
For more information, contact Blakeslee-Collin at 561-0340 or e-mail email@example.com. The museum is open Wednesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and by appointment.