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Las Vegas looking to Cold War history amid North Korea nuclear threat

Posted at 6:22 PM, Aug 11, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-11 23:10:40-04

During the Cold War with the Soviet Union, the United States was under the constant threat of an all-out nuclear conflict.

People in Las Vegas are visiting the National Atomic Testing Museum on East Flamingo Road to learn how the lessons of the past can be applied to the current tensions with North Korea.

"This is a horrible crisis we're in right now, but it is a good learning experience and teaching tool," said Michael Hall, the museum's executive director.

Hall sees parallels between what's happening now and the events of the 1960s.

"People are starting to think about that the way it was years ago when people built bomb shelters and they were worried about civil defense," he said.

Several baby boomers at the museum Friday remember the events of the exhibits, as well as the threat of nuclear war.

"In the back of our minds I suppose there was a heightened awareness of the fact that it could happen to us," said Evelyn Horigan, who's 76.

She says the current threat feels much more intense.

Hall doesn't want people to be unnecessarily frightened.

"Korea's kind of a whole different animal," he said. "It's a small nuclear power. You're looking at one or two or maybe a dozen devices. That's a different scenario than when we were growing up in the Cold War when each side had thousands of nuclear weapons."

Hall said he doesn't think there's any danger of an attack on Las Vegas.