Cold War

Discover more about the Cold War and America’s military in the second half of the 20th century.

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Virginians at War Films
Recorded Lectures and Lessons
Resources and Activities

Virginians at War Films

Virginians at War: The Cold War

Virginians at War: The Cold War covers the beginning of the Cold War with the Berlin Blockade in the late 1940s, the use of submarines and intelligence collection for both the United States and Soviet Union.

Resource packet for Virginians at War: Cold War coming soon.

Virginians at War: Cuban Missile Crisis

Virginians at War: Cuban Missile Crisis details the 1962 event, described as the “most dangerous moment in human history.”

Resource packet for Virginians at War: Cuban Missile Crisis coming soon.

The Missing Chapter: Saigon to Desert Storm

The Missing Chapter: Saigon to Desert Storm explains how the United States military recovered from Vietnam to face down the Soviet Union, win the Cold War, and achieve decisive victory in the Persian Gulf War.

Recorded Lectures and Lessons

If you are interested in scheduling a future lesson with the Virginia War Memorial Education Department (in person or via distance learning/outreach), please reach out to

Salute to Service

Have you ever wondered what it is like to serve in the military? Hear first-hand accounts from those who took the oath of enlistment!

Salute to Service: US Coast Guard

Aired August 5, 2020. Hear from two veterans of the US Coast Guard as they discuss their experiences in the Armed Forces during the Cold War era.

Salute to Service: US Navy

Aired October 13, 2020. Hear from a Navy veteran about his experiences during the Cold War.

Eyewitness to history

Learn about history from those who have experienced it, and get a chance to view events through a unique lens!

Eyewitness to History: Cold War Recollections of a Naval Aviator

Aired June 16, 2020. Join us for an interview with LCDR, USN (Ret) Robert Paylor as he describes his service during the Cold War and his personal recollections of Grenada and Beirut. In the early 1980s, LCDR Paylor piloted helicopters from the deck of the USS Guam.

Lessons and Lectures (VA War Memorial Staff)

Presentations by Virginia War Memorial staff members.

The Cold War: From Eisenhower to JFK

Aired October 26, 2020. Join Education Director Jim Triesler as he explores a decade of the Cold War from 1953 to 1963. Topics include: containment, Sputnik, the U-2 Incident, the Revolution in Cuba, the Berlin Wall, the Bay of Pigs, and the Cuban Missile Crisis. We will examine how these events were reported in the news, and what impact they had on ordinary Americans.

Resources and Activities

Cold War resources and activities coming soon.