Cold War

The 1954 Guatemalan Coup Part 2

United Fruit Company was Guatemala’s largest employer and largest single landowner when the October Revolution took place. It also controlled the railroad, the port and the utilities. And it feared that the new government threatened its business interests.

The 1954 Guatemalan Coup Part 1

The 1954 coup that overthrew the democratically elected president of Guatemala was orchestrated by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency. Part one will outline the various influences leading up to the coup, including the involvement of United Fruit Company. 

Six Impossible Episodes: Evacuating Children

All six of today’s topics are mass evacuations of children and youth because of a war or other unrest, and include Kindertransport, Operation Pedro Pan, and Operation Babylift. 

NORAD Tracking Santa: A Cold War History

The story that circulates about how NORAD started tracking Santa is pretty heart-warming, but doesn’t completely hold up. So there’s some myth-busting here, and maybe the tiniest bit of bah-humbug.

Three Nuclear Close Calls

There have been many moments in history when the world came perilously close to a full-scale nuclear war, due to false alarms or miscommunication. One such moment is the only known time that a head of state has activated their nuclear briefcase.

The Billion Dollar Spy with Author David E. Hoffman

During the Cold War, the CIA and KGB were in a constant game of cat and mouse to steal each other's secrets. David E. Hoffman talks with us about the work of one incredibly important spy, who is the subject of his latest book.

The Beijing underground city may sound like the stuff of legends, but it's a real place built to escape Soviets. Check out our HowStuffWorks article to learn more about the fact and fiction surrounding the city underneath Beijing.

During the Cold War, both the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. stockpiled weapons, eventually holding enough power to destroy the world several times over. Yet neither side actually used these weapons. Learn more about M.A.D. in our article on HowStuffWorks.