Texas in the Cold War: oral history training workshop

Aug 24 2013 - 9:00am to 12:00pm

Near Lawn in Taylor County, the address of the Lawn Atlas Missile Base is 1990 FM-604.

There is a 4’ x 8’ steel sign at the site entrance clearly labeled “LAMB.” The entrance is exactly 2.4 miles east of State Highway 84 on FM 604, after turning at the Lawn blinking traffic light.



The Texas Historical Commission (THC), in conjunction with the Taylor County Historical Commission and the Texas Forts Trail Region, will co-host a free oral history training workshop at the Lawn Atlas Missile Base on Saturday, August 24 from 9 a.m.-noon. The Lawn workshop is the first in a special two-year series of 12 THC-coordinated Texas in the Cold War oral history training workshops around the state. This workshop will highlight the real places telling the real stories of Texas’ involvement in the Cold War, including the home front. The workshop is designed for people to learn how to conduct and record oral histories, including hands-on training with digital and video recording equipment.

BACKGROUND: The workshop series When the Lone Star State Met the Iron Curtain: Recollections of Texas in the Cold War, is built on the foundation of the THC’s national award-winning Texas in World War II Initiative. This new project will endeavor to preserve the service and sacrifices of Texans during the Cold War. Initial funding for the workshop series was made possible through the generous support of The Summerlee Foundation of Dallas, which also helped support the THC’s Texas in World War II Initiative’s oral history workshop series in 2004.

The Lawn Atlas Missile Base (LAMB) is a private Cold War historic preservation project under the direction of Taylor CHC Vice Chair Larry C. Sanders. The Lawn site is one of 12 Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) launch silos, constructed in a pattern that encircled Abilene between 1962-1965, during one of the more intense periods of the Cold War. The Strategic Air Command at Dyess Air Force Base hosted the Atlas F ICBM system. Each silo was 185-feet deep, containing an 85-foot Atlas F missile built by Convair Astronautics Division. From the Lawn location, the 3.5 megaton nuclear warhead the missile carried had the capability of reaching Soviet targets in approximately 30 minutes.

Considered a “20th-century fort,” the LAMB in Taylor County is within the Texas Forts Trail Region, which is a 29-county area in central West Texas. The Forts Trail promotes education, preservation and cultural/heritage tourism, and is part of the nationally recognized Texas Heritage Trails Program. Through the Forts Trail, visitors and Texans are encouraged to enjoy the heritage, natural beauty, and rich culture of this region.