Arkansas Delegation Introduces Legislation to Designate Blytheville Air Force Base as National Cold War Center
Washington, D.C. (February 7th, 2023) – Today, Representatives Crawford, Hill, Westerman, and Womack, along with Senators Boozman and Cotton, introduced legislation to name the Blytheville/Eaker Air Force Base located in Blytheville, Arkansas, the “National Cold War Center.” The Eaker base opened in 1942 as a World War II advanced pilot training school, and later became an alert center during the Cold War.
The Arkansas delegation also introduced this bill in the 117th Congress.
After the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the base closed in 1992. In 2019, community leaders announced plans for a museum at that location to tell the history of the Cold War and the military response it required. The center will focus on the Soviet threat, America’s response to communist expansionism, and the deterrence required to avoid a nuclear war. Its first on-site exhibit depicts the history of the Blytheville/Eaker Air Force Base and the role it played in defending the homeland.
Upon introduction of the legislation, Rep. Crawford released the following statement.
“As a Cold War veteran, I can say it was a pivotal time in American history when the threats were tremendous but we were all united in defeating our enemies. I applaud those at the Blytheville Cold War Center who have kept alive this period and remind us of the threat that communism poses. Giving this historic military base Congressional recognition will ensure that the museum is able to continue to teach its visitors about the Cold War for generations to come.”
“We have a good story to tell. Blytheville played a vital role in America’s national security and helped safeguard the world against the threat of nuclear war. The community is dedicated to preserving this history. I’m proud to join the effort designating this exhibit as the National Cold War Center so we can pay tribute and share the experiences of men and women who served at Eaker Air Force Base,” said Sen. Boozman.
“Eaker Air Force Base played a key role in the defense of our nation during the Cold War—we ought to preserve its legacy and encourage the continued education of future generations. Our bill will officially recognize the museum in Blytheville as the nation’s National Cold War Center, which will help preserve this important history and be a boon to local tourism,” said Sen. Cotton.
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