Nuclear Summitry: Pershing II, SS-20, and the End of the Cold War

Ask an Expert Live

August 22, 2018 | 12:30pm
Presented Online

The elimination of the Pershing II and SS-20 IRBMs from the nuclear arsenals of the United States and the Soviet Union in 1987 signaled a rapprochement between both countries that culminated in the end of the Cold War. It did not start out that way. When Ronald Reagan entered the White House in 1981, he ordered a military buildup—the largest in peacetime history—to force the Soviet Union to the bargaining table. In this week's Ask an Expert on Facebook Live, curator Tom Lassman will discuss the process of removing the Pershing II and SS-20 missiles from active service, which proceeded in fits and starts that posed strategic risks for the superpowers during a period of heightened international tensions.

Tune in on our Facebook page. 

Attending in person? Meet in Boeing Milestones of Flight Hall.


Every Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. we will go live on the National Air and Space Museum Facebook page with an Ask an Expert talk. We’ll select a different aviation or space topic each week, and a Museum staff member will discuss the history, stories, or personalities related to a specific artifact or exhibition in the Museum. Tune in on Facebook Live each week to join the talk and ask our experts questions.