KADOKA, S.D. (KEVN) - While many government agencies are closed Wednesday for a national day of mourning in memory of former President George H.W. Bush, the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site honors the late president by staying open.
The site will recognize the role Bush played in ending the Cold War and Nuclear Arms race. In 1991, then-President Bush signed the 1991 Treaty between the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, START I. This treaty limited the number of intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear warheads each country could have.
Western South Dakota had played a critical part in the Cold War years, with Minuteman II ICBMs and first B-52 bombers that were replaced by B-1s; all nuclear-capable.
After signing the treaty, Bush called for “the withdrawal from alert within seventy-two hours, of all 450 Minuteman II intercontinental ballistic missiles.”
For the next several years, the Air Force went about dismantling the Minuteman mission, removing missiles and imploding the sites; all except Delta-01 near Kadoka.
The START I treaty allowed both sides to preserve missile facilities for historical interpretive purposes.
In 1999, Congress authorized the NPS to preserve the Minuteman II site. The park consists of three sites along a 15-mile stretch of Interstate 90.
“The leadership of President George H.W. Bush in peacefully ending both the Cold War and the nuclear arms race is a critical part of the history we preserve at the park,” stated Superintendent Eric Leonard in a release. “We invite the public to join us in remembering our 41st president; a visit to the park and a Delta-01 tour provide on-the-ground examples of President Bush’s legacy.”
During the winter season (December 1 - March 1) the park is open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. It is closed Sundays and Mondays.
The Minuteman site's headquarters and visitor center is located off of exit 131, Interstate 90.
More information about the park can be found on the park’s website at or by phone at: 605-433-5552.