Congress Designates Official Cold War Center

January 8, 2024

The U.S. Congress has designated the National Cold War Center in Blytheville as an official museum of the Cold War.  The designation assists the museum, scheduled to open in fall 2027, in educating people about the Cold War and the sacrifices Americans made to preserve democracy during the decades-long conflict.

Mary Gay Shipley, chair of The National Cold War Center Board of Directors, said the official recognition provides more reason for individuals and organizations to partner with the center to make the museum a reality. “Since the organization’s inception, the National Cold War Center’s mission has been to become an acessible resoumrce providing visitors from all over the country, and the world, engaging and interactive education on the realities of America’s key role in the Cold War,” said Shipley. “This designation enshrines the NCWC as one of the nation’s official preservers and interpreters of one of the most impactful conflicts of the 20th century.”

The National Cold War Center is a federally designated museum that will be located on the campus of the former Blytheville Air Force Base (originally known as the Blytheville Army Airfield), which opened in 1942 as a training facility for World War II pilots. In 1958, the base was converted to a Strategic Air Command alert mission and remained a key U.S. military command for three decades – through events such as the Cuban Missile Crisis and the signing of the treaties officially ending the Cold War in the early 1990s.