OHS Historical Marker Program
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Atlas Intercontinental Ballistic Missile Site
Location: on the east side of SH 34 and US Highway 283, about one mile south of the merger. 35°03'44.6"N 99°30'03.2"W
To counter the Soviet Union's Cold War nuclear threat in the 1950s, the United States government created the Atlas Intercontinental Ballistic Missile. Twelve Atlas F Missile sites were built near Altus Air Force Base between 1960 and 1962. One of these sites sat immediately east of this marker.
The underground silo that housed the 82-foot-long missile here was 174 feet deep with a diameter of 52 feet. Connected to the missile silo by a tunnel was the underground Launch Control Center. A five-person crew lived there around the clock, ready to fire the missile. Once fired, the Atlas stored here was capable of reaching the Soviet Union in 43 minutes.
This missile site was attached to the 577th Strategic Missile Squadron at Altus Air Force Base. All twelve Altus-area missiles were put on alert during the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. On March 25, 1965, the 577th SMS was inactivated.
The Atlas Missile program was a national security priority under Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson. The Willow Atlas Missile site played a crucial role in the nation's Cold War nuclear arsenal from 1962 to 1965.
This marker was provided by the Charles T. and Mary Ellen Doyle family.
Location: on OK-34A southeast of Willow
As part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's program to stabilize blowing topsoil in the Dust Bowl, the Prairie States Forestry Project coordinated the planting of wide belts of trees from North Dakota to Texas. The first shelterbelt in the nation was planted on the H. E. Curtis farm near Mangum on March 18, 1935. For the next seven years more than 18,000 miles of shelterbelts were planted, including nearly 3,000 miles in Oklahoma.
Giants of the Great Plains
Location: in Granite, Oklahoma only 38 minutes south of Elk City or 30 minutes north of Altus
Will Rogers (face, 30' wide and 28' tall) was dedicated November 10, 1979, in recognition of Rogers' 100th birthday anniversary. This giant mosaic is comprised of 195 two-foot-square granite panels.
Location: on county road, two miles west of OK-6 north of Granite
Pioneers settled the Lake Creek area beginning in 1898. The consolidated Lake Creek School served area children until 1957. The community included the oldest church in Greer County, the Lake Creek Baptist Church, founded in 1888.
Location: on OK-44 near Lugert grain elevator
Frank Lugert, an Austrian immigrant, ran the post office, train depot, and general store in the town he founded after the Kiowa-Comanche-Apache Reservation opened for settlement in 1901. The town thrived until it was destroyed by a tornado in 1912. The original townsite is now covered by the waters of Lake Altus-Lugert.
Old Greer County
Location: on courthouse grounds in Mangum
The North Fork of the Red River was originally the northern boundary of Spanish territory after the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. The area between the North Fork and the main stream of the Red River became Greer County, Texas. However, in 1896, the US Supreme Court ruled that the main branch of the river was the northern boundary of Texas and Old Greer County became part of Oklahoma Territory.
Peace on the Plains
Location: at junction of US-283 and OK-44 near Quartz Mountain State Park
One of Oklahoma's most important peace conferences was held at the mouth of Devil's Canyon on July 21, 1834. It was the first meeting between army dragoons, led by Colonel Henry Dodge, and Plains Indians, and the first formal contact between the federal government and the Indian tribes of the Great Plains. The dragoons camped a mile away from the Indian village that contained more than 200 grass lodges.
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