‘Cold War in the U.P.’ exhibit set to open

MARQUETTE — Northern Michigan University’s Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center will unveil its new “Cold War in the U.P.” exhibit on Nov. 2.

An opening reception is scheduled at 7 p.m.

From the late 1940s until the early 1990s, the United States and the Soviet Union were locked in a battle for political and social influence throughout the planet. At the crux of this conflict was the ever-present danger of nuclear war, as both countries had enough armaments to destroy the Earth many times over. The Cold War exhibit will explore the mass military industrial complex that spread throughout the United States and the key role played by the Upper Peninsula in America’s defense. It also will highlight U.P. natives who made impacts during that period, including Clarence “Kelly” Johnson and Glenn Seaborg of Ishpeming.

Johnson was an aeronautical engineer who designed the most important military aircrafts of the Cold War period, including the Lockheed U-2, SR-71 Blackbird, F-104 Starfighter and P-80 Shooting Star. Seaborg was a chemist and physicist, who as a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, became one of the key researchers in the Manhattan Project. His main job was to create the plutonium for the first atomic bomb. Seaborg later became the Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission from 1961-71.

The Beaumier U.P. Heritage Center is located in Gries Hall at NMU. It is open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday.

There will be several events associated with the exhibit, including a 1950s Sock Hop at 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, in the University Center’s Great Lakes Rooms. A lecture titled “Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative and Project ELF” by Finlandia professor Bill Knoblauch will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 9, at the center. A Cold War Film Festival will also be held on various nights from November-March. Details will be announced later.