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Fifty years ago, President John F. Kennedy went on national television on this date to tell everyone the world was on the brink of nuclear war.
The Russians had installed ballistic missiles with warheads on Cuba, 90 miles from Florida, the president told us. JFK imposed a naval embargo, encircling the island nation with U.S. warships. The crisis lasted thirteen days. Fortunately, cooler heads prevailed.
We were going to share some deep insights about this tense brush with Armageddon, but our train of thought got derailed today by one of our more persistent spammers. Cuban Missile Crisis Cold War Homes for Sale read the header on a message from a website that won’t stop blasting us every day with “Top Real Estate Deals” (hint: their slogan is Where Real Estate is Never Boring!).
Our eyes were drawn to the teaser:
“Go back to that scary time in history with a look at military relics from the Cold War era that have been made into homes and are for sale. These are missile silos, nuclear research labs and even the satellite complex that was the first location to receive images from the moon. If you’re looking for someplace to live that’s a little bit different than the house with the white picket fence, this might be for you!”
We clicked on a link to “Survival Condos” and were taken to a page featuring a Jetsons-era rendering of a dozen living units crammed into what looked like a deactivated missile silo. The copy assured us the units are fully equipped:
“These condos are built on a former missile base, which may appeal to Cold War buffs. The units offer a unique combination of security and community living, as each condo is part of a larger facility. They offer physical protection and the ability to live off the grid with solar and wind power and its own generating system. The facility also has hydroponic food and an aquaculture facility so that families can live for an extended period of time without worrying about having enough food, air, power or water. The condos includes a library, movie theater, exercise facility and a medical center equipped to handle minor surgery.”
Act now, and you get a shoe once owned by Nikita Khrushchev (authenticated autograph on instep).
OK, we made up the bit about the shoe. So much for deep thoughts about doomsday. According to an oft-quoted statement attributed to Marx, history repeats itself, first as tragedy then as farce.
You were right, Groucho.