I was struck by the reality of the whole thing--the state our world was in for so long. When you look at the Titan rocket engines, it's hard not to imagine all the hours of design, testing and engineering that went into every little component, each a piece in the puzzle of how a world was consumed by paranoia for four decades.
I wondered how the Cold War got started so quickly after WWII ended. Was it a holdover of the Red Fear of the Thirties, fueled by the Russian test of a nuclear weapon? Was it the Soviet expansion into Eastern Europe left ravaged by the fall of the Nazis? What was it that took hold of public perception and turned it to Communist paranoia? The short video we saw after the tour gave me some answers. Near the end, the video presented a litany of corporations who participated in the Titan Missile project. In my opinion, big industry defense contractors are at least partly to blame for the Cold War. What better way to keep the money rolling in after the war ended than to portray an even bigger menace?
Excuse me while I stop editorializing. If you haven't visited the Titan Missile Museum, I highly recommend it. It's thought-provoking, and seeing all the old technology is pretty cool. Needless to say, it's a good thing that we never had to use it.