Those of you around in the 60’s will probably remember Bert the Turtle’s “duck and cover” drills and “atomic alerts.”
And those of you not around, might have learned about this tenuous time in US history known as the Cold War from school or your family members.
And for those history scholars, the date of this post (October 28th) marks the end of the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962.
Are we already in another Cold War? Are the stakes higher now? Is the media making more out of everyday politics than is deserved? How is the US handling the apparent tensions we see? I will leave it up to you to assess our current state of relations with Russia, and welcome your thoughts and comments below.
Spies in the Movies
Last week, I was at the very first showing of Steven Spielberg’s “The Bridge of Spies.” While my main interest was the May 1960 shoot-down of Francis Gary Powers and his U-2, I was surprised by all that our government did in the background to obtain his release. It truly was magnificent what the US did to ensure his eventual safe return and that he did not have to serve 10 years in prison.
The movie ends with Powers being traded for Rudolf Abel; and there is another twist with a third party, so you will want to go see the movie. Tom Hanks, as always, delivers!
Because of the declassification of materials, there were many efforts made to ensure that Powers was finally (starting in 2000) posthumously honored with the Prisoner of War Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, and National Defense Service Medal, the CIA Director’s Medal, and then in 2012, the Silver Star.
An Honor to Meet and Learn
I met Francis Gary Powers, Jr. earlier this year and got to talk with him about his father. It is truly amazing to hear how Gary Jr. has honored his father, and is helping to preserve what we learned from that time in history.
Gary Jr. has founded the Cold War Museum. It is west of DC near Manassas, VA and worth a visit. Next door, is the Vint Hill Winery, which also has historical significance with the Cold War.
U-2 Pictures, Videos and Facts
You can learn more about the museum and winery on a page that I put together that has U-2 pictures, videos, links, books and other cool stuff about the U-2, that is still flying at age 60! Thanks to all my U-2 brothers for their contributions. I update the page as I get more information.
If you want to connect with me, click on the LinkedIn icon (located at the top or on the right side) on this site.