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Nike Missle Base
February 02, 2013

February 2 to June 30, 2013
On February 2, 2013, the Mahwah Museum, 201 Franklin Turnpike, Mahwah, will open a new exhibit  “Nike Missile Base in Mahwah: Nuclear Warheads in Our Backyard.”  Museum hours are Wednesdays and Weekends from 1 -5 pm. 
In the wake of World War II and the beginning of the Cold War, Americans feared that waves of Soviet bombers would start World War III by attacking the continental United States with nuclear weapons causing massive destruction reminiscent of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in Japan.  As a result of this widespread fear, the Nike missile anti-aircraft weapon system was created by the Army and deployed to almost 300 bases in the United States. 
In 1955, a Nike Base was established in the Campgaw Mountains of Mahwah and Franklin Lakes.  In 1959 Nike Hercules missiles equipped with nuclear warheads arrived. During its 16 years of operation (1955 to 1971), the Franklin Lakes – Mahwah Nike missile base served as a significant installation for the protection of civilian and industrial infrastructure, and the population of the Greater New York area.  In 1971 the base quietly closed with a very limited closing ceremony because the missile system was obsolete.
The Mahwah Museum display will tell the story of the Nike Base in Mahwah.  How it fit into the larger defense system of New York and the United States, how it was operated, what would have happened if it had ever been used.  Anyone who remembers bomb shelters and “duck and cover” in the United States in the 1950’s and their children and grandchildren will learn about this interesting period in a multimedia display. 
The popular exhibit “Les Paul in Mahwah” continues through June 2013, and will host Tuesday evening Gallery Talks by Bucky Pizzarelli, Ed Laub, Lou Pallo and others.  The Museum’s Donald Cooper Railroad, the Museum’s HO-scale model railroad and a favorite of children, has new routes, a fully operating yard and enhanced scenery, including many local landmarks. The Railroad is open weekends from 1-5 p.m.
The Museum is located at 201 Franklin Turnpike.  The Museum is open weekends and Wednesdays from 1-5 p.m.  Admission is $5 and museum members and children under 12 are free. Visit www.mahwahmuseum.org or call 201-512-0099 for more information about upcoming events.
The Mahwah Museum receives operating support from the New Jersey Historical commission in the Department of State.