BLYTHEVILLE, Ark. (January 8, 2024) – Congress has designated the National Cold War Center (NCWC), an official museum of the Cold War.
The designation aims to protect the work of the NCWC – which is targeting the fall of 2027 for its grand opening – by supporting the museum’s efforts to educate the American people about the Cold War and the sacrifices many brave Americans made to preserve democracy during the decades-long conflict.
During a briefing on the 2023 Congressional session for Mississippi County residents on Dec. 19 Rep. Rick Crawford, of Arkansas’ First Congressional District, commended the designation and what it means for the future of the center.
“This was the first step, and we cleared that hurdle, and I think they are in really good shape,” said Crawford. “They are doing a really good job raising money and raising the profile here.”
Rep. French Hill also praised the news in an official press release following the House’s approval of the bill that included the designation.
Mary Gay Shipley, chair of The National Cold War Center Board of Directors, commended Congress for designating the NCWC a national museum. Shipley said that the official recognition provides more reason for individuals and organizations to partner with the center to make the museum a reality.
“Since the organization’s inception, the National Cold War Center’s mission has been to become an accessible resource providing visitors from all over the country, and the world, engaging and interactive education on the realities of America’s key role in the Cold War,” said Shipley. “This designation enshrines the NCWC as one of the nation’s official preservers and interpreters of one of the most impactful conflicts of the 20th century.”
The National Cold War Center is a federally designated museum that will be located on the campus of the former Blytheville Air Force Base (originally known as the Blytheville Army Airfield), which opened in 1942 as a training facility for World War II pilots. In 1958, the base was converted to a Strategic Air Command alert mission and remained a key U.S. military command for three decades – through events such as the Cuban Missile Crisis and the signing of the treaties officially ending the Cold War in the early 1990s. The NCWC is targeting a grand opening date in the fall of 2027. Once open, the NCWC will serve as the United States’ official museum of the Cold War.