This is the inside of John F. Kennedy’s secret Cold War nuclear bunker.

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This secret bunker was built in 1961 on a Palm Beach islet north of Miami, because the Cuban missile crisis brought the world to the brink of nuclear war. This bunker cost $90,000 USD and took 10 days to build according to Anthony Miller, general director of the Palm Beach Maritime Museum, the institution that takes care of the maintenance and guided tours of the bunker.

Door to JFK's Nantucket nuclear fallout shelter, with long corridor visible in the distance

John Fitzgerald Kennedy had everything a President could wish for, charisma, money, support from the people and was one of the first presidents to support the African American movement, his presidency only lasted 2 years and 10 months due to his assassination.

His adversary in the Kremlin was Nikita Khrushchev who was trying to win the game against his young adversary. They competed in an arms race, an economic race and even in space. This Cold War would give rise to hundreds of Russian and American spy stories that we can enjoy today in many movies.

Here is a virtual tour, as well as photos of the atomic bunker of this famous President who left a great mark in the history of the United States of America.

“for the sake of the triumph of freedom we will pay any price, bear any burden, suffer any hardship, support any friend and oppose any foe.” – John F. Kennedy

A family fallout shelter housed in the collections of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History
A family nuclear radiation shelter housed in the collections of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History (NMAH).

Here is a 360 video of a guided tour in English.

Some curious facts about the construction of the Bunker

  • It had an emergency meeting room, a communications room and a dining room that could serve meals for up to 60 people.
  • It was built to withstand a nuclear explosion and had air and water filters as well as an autonomous power generation system.
  • The bunker was never used during an actual emergency, but was kept secret and in operation until 1992.
  • In 1995, the bunker was opened to the public and is now a popular tourist attraction known as “El Refugio”. Visitors can take a guided tour and learn more about the history of the bunker and the nuclear threat during the Cold War.

Esta entrada también está disponible en: Español

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