Following the detonation by Russia of a test atomic bomb in 1949 and the invasion of South Korea in 1950, the aerial defense of the United States became a top military priority. Bell Laboratories was commisioned to develope an antiaircraft defense system in order to combat enemy bombers from invading the united states, this was the begining of the Nike program. The Nike missile defense system was deployed around major US cities which were seen as most vulnerable to attack, including the cities of San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York. The Nike missile bases began deployment in 1954, and remained acitive until a treaty signed in 1974 with USSR limited to 15 the numbers of rapid fire missles each side could have. Over the next two year all the Nike batteries were decommissioned, except for ones in Alaska and Florida.
Very few remnants remain today of the missle ring which was built to protect
los angeles from an aerial soviet attack. The ring engulfs the 1950's Los Angeles
and reinforced its multi-nodal development. The ring avoids the density of the
middle prefering the periphery, creating a buffer around the city. This survey
of the nike sites provides a aerial view of the sites, documenting their current