The 1950s are seen as a golden age for the U.S., a time when the country was prosperous and the nuclear family reigned supreme. But the nation had another nuclear obsession — a looming, existential threat that seemed imminent, if not guaranteed.
The country was embroiled in a war unlike any it had seen before, a Cold War with the nascent Soviet Union, a superpower fighting for its place on the world stage.
The U.S. feared a nuclear attack. One solution? Project Nike Ajax — an anti-aircraft missile system surrounding every major U.S. city.