100 Interesting Facts About the Cold War

1Viktor Belenko

A Russian MIG Pilot named Viktor Belenko defected during the cold war along with his aircraft. When he arrived in the USA he was convinced the CIA had specially stocked the grocery stores he went to because he couldn't believe the vast array of products for sale.

2. During the Cold War, the USSR mapped the entire world to precise detail. The U.S State Department still uses the maps today due to their accuracy

3. During the height of the cold war, Neil Armstrong's final task on the moon was to place memorial items honoring fallen Russian cosmonauts.

4. During the cold war, when navy divers repairing a whale enclosure heard a human-like voice saying "out, out, out," and got out of the water to see nobody, they found out that a beluga whale named "Noc" had learned to mimic human speech and was trying to communicate with them.

5. In God, We Trust was placed on all U.S. bills during the Cold War as a way to express the United States' anti-communist beliefs

6Codename Fedora

One of the most successful KGB agents of the Cold War had the codename, Fedora. He infiltrated the UN and sabotaged the US by providing false information ie. a Fedora tip.

7. Because of cold war regulations, every street in China is in slightly the wrong place on Google Maps.

8. The Soviet Union and the United States were originally in talks to go to the moon together during the Cold War. Nikita Khruschev was poised to accept the plan but then President Kennedy was assassinated. The Soviets did not trust Vice President Johnson, so Khrushchev rejected the plan.

9. Nuclear bombers from the Cold War were typically painted white or with a white underside to reflect light from the nuclear blast it would deliver, the paint is called "anti-flash white"

10. Reagan and Gorbachev Agreed to Pause the Cold War in Case of an Alien Invasion

11Archie and Kim Roosevelt

Teddy Roosevelt’s grandsons, Archie (spoke 16 languages) and Kim were high-level CIA operatives in the early days of the Cold War.

12. During the Cold War, Chairman Mao held meetings in his swimming pool to embarrass Nikola Khrushchev, who had to wear a floaty as he couldn’t swim. Khrushchev felt insulted and the incident furthered the deterioration of relations between the Soviet Union and China.

13. During the Cold War, the USSR was able to tell a Soviet passport was a forgery because the staples in real passports would corrode due to the poor quality of metal.

14. The US ignored war crime charges against many Nazis and recruited them in their cold war efforts.

15. Russia secretly had maps so detailed of the Canadian Arctic during the Cold-War that other ships now use them over official maps.

16Pledge of Allegiance

Congress added the "Under God" phrase to the Pledge of Allegiance during the Cold War. This symbolized the resistance to communists, who were atheists.

17. 1930's starlet Hedy Lamarr invented a new technology to stop Nazi's from jamming Navy torpedoes, but the idea was rejected until 1962 and implemented during the Cold War. Her frequency hopping technology is also the basis for modern Bluetooth.

18. From the 30s to the end of the Cold War, MI5 had an officer working at the BBC to ensure they wouldn't hire communists.

19. The most successful intelligence operation (Operation Tamarisk ) in the Cold War was emptying supplies of Soviet Union toilet paper, forcing them to use documents, and retrieving these documents after use.

20. During the Cold War, the US considered airdropping enormous condoms labeled “Medium” onto the Soviets, to demoralize them against an anatomically superior American Army.

21Chrysler air raid siren

During the Cold War, Chrysler built air raid sirens powered by V8 engines. They produced 138dB, could be heard for 16 miles and remain the loudest sirens ever built.

22. Because of Hiroshima/Nagasaki/Cold War Testing, the steel used for radioactive-sensitive purposes must be harvested from pre-WWII naval vessels: modern steel production is all tainted with radioactivity

23. The US Air Force developed a top-secret plan to detonate a nuclear bomb on the moon as a display of military might at the height of the Cold War. The mathematical modeling for the explosion was done by Carl Sagan.

24. The height of the Cold War the titanium used in building the legendary SR-71 Blackbird was sourced by the CIA (via dummy companies) from the completely oblivious the Soviet Union.

25. The CIA secretly spiked the bread from a bakery in the French village of Pont-Saint-Esprit with enormous quantities of LSD as part of its cold war mind-control experiments.

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