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Spokane

Jim Kershner’s This Day in History

Sat., March 20, 2010

» On the Web: spokesman.com/topics/local-history

From our files, 50 years ago

Fairchild Air Force Base officials provided an update on the area’s Atlas intercontinental ballistic missile bases – all nine of them.

Construction was 95 percent complete on the Reardan, Davenport and Deer Park launch sites. Construction was a little more than half complete on the Sprague, Rockford, Newman Lake, Egypt (in Lincoln County), Wilbur and Lamona sites.

Work on various other facilities, including a liquid oxygen plant at Fairchild, the area field office for the project, was about one-third complete. These missiles were capable of sending a nuclear warhead 6,000 to 8,000 miles on liquid oxygen fuel.

This was the one-year anniversary of the project.

From the irony file: In a separate story, Spokane’s civil defense director urged everyone to build family fallout shelters in their backyards.

He said fallout shelters could reduce nuclear war casualties from 27 percent to 3 percent.

In the meantime, he said, you can use them as spare bedrooms.

Also on this date

1852: Harriet Beecher Stowe’s influential novel about slavery, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” was published in the United States.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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